Day 7 Recap

June 17, 2010 - South Africa - Football - Greece v Nigeria FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group B - Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa - 17/6/10..Vasileios Torosidis celebrates scoring the second goal for Greece.

Nigeria 1 – Greece 2 (Group B)

Greece are infamous for playing ‘ugly’ soccer – their victorious Euro 2004 campaign caused pundits to blabber on about crimes against the beautiful game – but they opened the attacking floodgates today.

However, the Nigerians found the net first, going on top in the 16th when Kalu Uche’s free kick missed his teammates’ waiting heads and fooled the keeper. Seventeen minutes later Sani Kaita tried to kick Vasilas Torosidis after a tussle (Torosidis certainly made the most of the contact), leaving the referee no choice but to send him off.

Nigeria spent the rest of the match on their back foot, with Greece finding their equalizer in the 44th as Demitris Salpigidis’s shot deflected into the net. The Nigerians bravely attempted to bag a winner, and a 59th minute counter almost swung the match in their favor. Unfortunately, Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi missed an open net and Greece punished the mistake in the 71st, taking advantage of Vincent Enyeama’s one mistake on the day (he made 9 saves) when Torosidis put in the goalkeeper’s bobble on a Alexandros Tziolis shot.

Argentina 4 – South Korea 1 (Group B)

See Ben Koch’s match summary.

France 0 – Mexico 2 (Group A)

Perhaps Uruguay and France’s 0-0 draw was due not to the South American’s defensive formation but France’s incompetence. The 2006 runners-up have played two games and have yet to find the net.  While they did generate some shots on goal (Flourent Malouda’s 54th minute striker being the most troublesome for Mexican keeper Oscar Perez), Mexico’s innovative formation (a very flexible 3-4-3) and excellent wing play made the French look pedestrian.

Still, the tireless CONCACAF representatives were not able to get on the board until Chicarito Hernandez broke an offside trap in the 64th. Running onto a Rafa Marquez pass just as defender Eric Abidal stepped forward, Hernandez skipped outside the keeper’s range and carefully made sure he didn’t miss the open net. Remarkably, the soon-to-be Manchester United striker replicated his grandfather’s feat of tallying against the French.

The match, and perhaps France’s World Cup fate, was decided when substitute Pablo Barrera was taken down in the box (again the hapless Abidal was involved) and Cuauhtemoc Blanco converted the ensuing penalty.

Mexico and Uruguay only need to draw for each to guarantee placement in the knockout round. France need to beat South Africa and hope Mexico (who has a lower goal difference than the Uruguays) are beaten by multiple goals.

Oh, and Hernandez may have been offside on his goal. If he was, I consider it a just reward.

4 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Matt says:

    This is like a scenario for the USA I saw on some Bigsoccer blog. The USA will get to the Last 16 and face Germany. They win 1-0 on a Donovan penalty kick, who takes it, and screams “BERHALTER! YOU ARE AVENGED!”

    • Blake Owen says:

      I would love to see the USA beat Germany, but there’s a problem with that scenario.

      The Frings no-call was actually the soccer gods’ retribution for an earlier missed decision that went the USA’s favor. Against Mexico, John O’Brien handled the ball in the box and the ref didn’t notice.

      So as far as the deities are concerned, we’re already even.

  2. robinoz0 says:

    i don’t feel bad at all for saying that i thoroughly enjoyed watching France lose.

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