South Africa, the 17th of June 2010 [PDN]: France suffered an almost fatal blow in their World Cup campaign on Thursday night after they lost 2-0 to an efficient Mexico side. Even a win in their last fixture against South Africa will leave France dependent on a resounding result either way in the other match of Group A between Mexico and Uruguay, who are currently sitting 1st and 2nd respectively.
The two Mexican goals came in the second half. The first goal came via substitute Javier Hernandez who coolly finished off a superb pass by Rafael Marquez, rounding the French keeper Hugo Lloris to put the Mexicans in front. The second came from another substitute in 37-year-old Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who converted a penalty after Pablo Barrera was chopped down by a floundering Eric Abidal in the box.
In the first Group B match of the night Greece achieved their first ever World Cup victory with a 2-1 win against a 10-man Nigeria. The win gives them a slim chance of reaching the second round ahead of their difficult last match against one of the tournaments favourites, Argentina.
A wonderfully struck Kalu Uche free-kick in the 16th minute had given Nigeria the lead, however, the sending-off of Sani Kaita 12 minutes before half-time turned the match on its head. Dimitris Salpingidis levelled for the Greeks shortly before half-time whilst Alexandros Tziolis’s skidding drive left Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama struggling as Vassilis Torosidis moved to tap the ball home from close range.
Argentina scored a resounding 4-1 win over South Korea to further stamp their credentials as one of this year’s favourites to take the title. Now almost assured of a place in the second round coach Diego Maradona must be wondering whether his side can match the feats of Argentina when he was a player, when they won the 1986 World Cup.
A disastrous own-goal by Korea’s Park Chu-young and a deft short-range header by Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain saw the South Americans take a 2-0 lead inside the first 33 minutes. Only a counterattacking Lee Chung-yong goal on the stroke of half-time gave the Korean’s any hope of a comeback. Higuain completed an impressive hat-trick with two more close-range strikes in the 76th and 80th minutes to finally kill of the Korean’s chances.
Tonight’s matches include some tournament make-or-break games in Group C with England v Algeria and Slovenia v USA. Germany will also play their second fixture of the cup against Serbia. Germany’s resounding 4-0 demolition of Australia in their first match has been the talk of the tournament to-date and it will be interesting to see if they can carry on that form in their second fixture against a resolute Serbia, who lost 1-0 to Ghana in their first match.
Video’s Attained Courtesy of http://www.footytube.com