Argies give Maradona First World Cup Win

by Michael Somerville

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

A fabulous Gabriel Heinze header was enough to hand Argentina the points against Nigeria.

Gonzolo Higuian wasted a superb opportunity in the 5th minute from 6 yards out- one of many chances that Argentina had come their way.

Swedes Lars Lagerback and Sven Goran Eriksson have somewhat bizarrely taken over two of Africa’s biggest footballing hopes- Nigeria and Ivory Coast. So far, Lagerback doesn’t look to have done a bad job, especially considering he had only two warm up games to get the squad used to each other. Vincent Enyeama had a blinding game and pulled out a save out of the top drawer in the 36th minute, denying Lionel Messi who’s shot was heading for the top left hand corner.

Argentina certainly had the upper hand in the first half with most of the play being in the Nigerian half and they looked in control.

Lionel Messi forced three great stops from the Nigerian keeper during the game and there was no doubt that the shot stopper was keeping Nigeria in the game.

Obafemi Martins came on to add some much needed attacking impetus to the Nigerian strike-force in the second half .

Just before the hour mark saw some commendable pace and strength by Yobo denying Real Madrid’s Hiquain.

The Nike “Man to write the Future’ Peter Odemwingie came on the hour mark and looked lively. Yakubu clearly looked more comfortable playing with Oba Martins.

70th scorching blade-trimmer from Taye Taiwo just flashed past Romero’s left hand post and was set up by that man Odemwingie.

A speculative 79th minute strike from Martins saw the ridiculed ‘Jamulani’ ball move in the air but was just parried away by Romero.

Another superb save by Enyeama denied Lionel Messi after 80 minutes who could of bagged himself a brace.

Uche made a hash of a great opportunity after a pulled-back cross was missed by the Nigerian in a guilt- edged chance.
Diego Milito’s came on for Higuain on his 31st birthday but couldn’t get himself a birthday gift. The final ball was just lacking for Argentina in the second half as they struggled to finish off Nigeria.

The vuvulezes were in full ‘buzz’ especially whenever Nigeria ploughed forward.
Yakubu made a chance out of nothing but just blasted over the bar with 10 minutes left to play. Messi could have been left ruing missed opportunities but Nigeria just didn’t quite have enough to score. They’ll have to improve their shooting if they are to progress beyond the group stage.

Nigeria continued to dig and stay in the game, but Maradona’s Argentina deserved the victory. Que mass hugging from the big legend!

Follow my reports where I’ll be blogging on every World Cup match in South Africa with refreshing reactions and insight.

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  • Darren

    hate to say it, but the Argies looked superb last night. I doubt if they will be tested until the knockout but they will def go far.

    Quality blog as per usual Mikie.

    As for Greeno, you’re better off making mistakes in the group than in the knockout, nuff said.

    If Heskey could score goals he would be world class!

  • dexylongshot

    I only saw snippets of this game due to bbq set up duties but it looked like good stuff from both sides in the few bits i saw. I read earlier there was something like 31 shots by the argies. I thought that stats like that and this dodgy ball would result in goal galore but the keepers seem to be keeping them at bay (apart for ours and Algerias rickets). I was banking on ths being a non-clean sheet zone this world cup and general goal-feast, it’s still early days but I’m hoping my prdictions come true, especially with 6 strikers in my dreamteams!

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