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World Cup Finals Blog Home: World Cup Finals: South Africa 2010: 1st Round: Match Schedule: Greece vs Nigeria

Thursday, 17th June 2010
Greek Gods of Lucky Football

Group B Match

Greece vs Nigeria
in Bloemfontein

Going into the game, Greece and Nigeria, both without a point, knew that Argentina had six points and South Korea had three. A draw here and Argentina would qualify for the Second Round by default; a defeat for Greece and the Europeans would be going home.

Typically, Greece - who were yet to score a World Cup Finals goal - started with five at the back and waited for Nigeria to come at them. The West Africans didn't disappoint when Kalu Uche became the first player to score a direct free-kick in South Africa, fifteen minutes into the game.

Vasilis Torosidis, who had already gone down once in a challenge, dropped like a ton of bricks when Sani Kaita needlessly kicked out in frustration as the Greek shielded the ball out of play.

Sani Kaita then hid his head in the green shirt of Nigeria, once he was shown the inevitable red card.

With Nigeria down to ten men, Otto Rehhagel made an attacking substitution; bringing on Giorgos Samaras for Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Then, just before half-time, fortune struck again for Greece; as Kostas Katsouranis laid the ball into the path of Dimitrios Salpingidis. The Panathinaikos striker's shot deflected off Lukman 'Luckless' Haruna and up over Vincent Enyeama, who played so well against Argentina.

Half-time: 1:1

Kalu Uche, the scorer of the first goal, forced Alexandros Tzorvas to tip the ball over his bar at the start of the second-half; as Nigeria showed they were not content to just sit back and hold on to the draw.

Then, on the next break, Taye Taiwo suffered what looked like a groin injury and momentarily left Nigeria with nine men on the pitch.

On the hour, Nigeria were powering forward again; Tzorvas getting his left palm to Yakubu's drive from close range.

With the extra man eventually proving to much to deal with, Vasilis Torosidis - the player who was involved in the sending-off incident - was first to pounce when Vincent Enyeama had a Robert Green moment, 20 minutes from time.

Shortly after, Yakubu gave Greece another scare; Nigeria not prepared to lie down and roll over until the final whistle.

Greece, lucky to play against ten men, were also lucky with both goals. But it's a win, their first at a World Cup Finals, and Nigeria have it all to do against South Korea.

Final Score:
Greece 2 Nigeria 1

Goalscorers Goalscorers:
0:1 Kalu Uche (15 mins)
1:1 Dimitrios Salpingidis (44 mins)
2:1 Vasilis Torosidis (71 mins)

Man of The Match:
Kalu Uche - Scored from a direct free-kick and didn't give up when Nigeria were down to ten men.

Teams

Travel to Greece Greece:
12 Alexandros Tzorvas; 15 Vasilis Torosidis, 8 Avraam Papadopoulos, 16 Sotirios Kyrgiakos, 19 Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 11 Loukas Vyntra; 6 Alexandros Tziolis, 21 Kostas Katsouranis, 10 Giorgos Karagounis; 17 Theofanis Gekas, 14 Dimitrios Salpingidis.

Travel to Nigeria Nigeria:
1 Vincent Enyeama; 3 Taye Taiwo, 6 Danny Shittu, 2 Joseph Yobo, 17 Chidi Odiah; 14 Sani Kaita, 20 Dickson Etuhu, 15 Lukman Haruna; 8 Aiyegbeni Yakubu, 11 Peter Odemwingie, 12 Kalu Uche.

Referee:
Oscar Ruiz (Colombia)

Substitutions Substitutions:
37 Mins (Greece) - 7 Giorgos Samaras on for 19 Sokratis Papastathopoulos
46 Mins (Nigeria) - 19 Chinedu Ogbuke on for 11 Peter Odemwingie
56 Mins (Nigeria) - 21 Uwa Echiejile on for 3 Taye Taiwo
79 Mins (Greece) - 18 Sotiris Ninis on for 17 Theofanis Gekas

Yellow Cards 4 Yellow Cards:
15 Mins - Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greece)
60 Mins - Alexandros Tziolis (Greece)
88 Mins - Giorgos Samaras (Greece)
89 Mins - Chinedu Ogbuke (Nigeria)

Red Cards 1 Red Card:
33 Mins - Sani Kaita (Nigeria)

Previous Encounters:
Nigeria beat Greece (2:0) in Boston at USA 1994 but lost their Kirkis friendly (0:2) in 1999.

The Road to The Final

2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.

Soccer Search - Search The Web.

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First Round

Friday, 11th June
South Africa vs Mexico
Uruguay vs France

Saturday, 12th June
Argentina vs Nigeria
England vs USA
South Korea vs Greece

Sunday, 13th June
Algeria vs Slovenia
Germany vs Australia
Serbia vs Ghana

Monday, 14th June
Holland vs Denmark
Italy vs Paraguay
Japan vs Cameroon

Tuesday, 15th June
Brazil vs North Korea
Côte d'Ivoire vs Portugal
New Zealand vs Slovakia

Wednesday, 16th June
Honduras vs Chile
South Africa vs Uruguay
Spain vs Switzerland

Thursday, 17th June
Argentina vs South Korea
France vs Mexico
Greece vs Nigeria

Friday, 18th June
England vs Algeria
Germany vs Serbia
Slovenia vs USA

Saturday, 19th June
Cameroon vs Denmark
Ghana vs Australia
Holland vs Japan

Sunday, 20th June
Brazil vs Côte d'Ivoire
Italy vs New Zealand
Slovakia vs Paraguay

Monday, 21st June
Chile vs Switzerland
Portugal vs North Korea
Spain vs Honduras

Tuesday, 22nd June
France vs South Africa
Greece vs Argentina
Mexico vs Uruguay
Nigeria vs South Korea

Wednesday, 23rd June
Australia vs Serbia
Ghana vs Germany
Slovenia vs England
USA vs Algeria

Thursday, 24th June
Cameroon vs Holland
Denmark vs Japan
Paraguay vs New Zealand
Slovakia vs Italy

Friday, 25th June
Chile vs Spain
North Korea vs Côte d'Ivoire
Portugal vs Brazil
Switzerland vs Honduras

World Cup Appearances.

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Teams by Group

Group A
France
Mexico
South Africa
Uruguay

Group B
Argentina
Greece
Nigeria
South Korea

Group C
Algeria
England
Slovenia
USA

Group D
Australia
Germany
Ghana
Serbia

Group E
Cameroon
Denmark
Holland
Japan

Group F
Italy
New Zealand
Paraguay
Slovakia

Group G
Brazil
Côte d'Ivoire
North Korea
Portugal

Group H
Chile
Honduras
Spain
Switzerland

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