Thursday, June 17, 2010

Terrific Gonzalo Higuain, hat-trick with impressive goal send to second round : Argentina 4-1 South Korea

**Argentina picked up their second win of the tournament and added goals to their game with a convincing win over South Korea. Gonzalo Higuain‚ he is hat-trick came after an unfortunate own goal had given Argentina the lead.

From the off, Diego Maradona‚ Higuain side were on the front foot, and the manager had squeezed as many attack-minded players as possible into his starting XI. Juan Sebastian Veron was dropped in favour of Maxi Rodriguez and Jonas Gutierrez continued at right back despite being a winger at his club.

South Korea had plenty of men behind the ball to counter the threat of Messi and company but looked to break forward when Argentina were over-committed. Those chances were few and far between though, as Messi, Tevez and company kept them pinned in.

The resistance did not last long but Argentina‚ Higuain opener had an element of good fortune about it. Messi‚ Higuain corner was flicked on by Demichelis and Park Chu-Young turned the ball into his own net.

On 33 minutes, Argentina doubled their lead. Rodriguez collected a pass from Messi and his cross was helped on by Burdisso. Higuain was waiting at the back post to head the ball downward and over the line but goalkeeper Jun Sung-Ryong will feel he could have done better.

At that stage, it looked like Argentina were in control of the match and could have added another before half-time. However, just before the break they handed South Korea a lifeline. Heinze dallied too long on the ball and presented Lee Chung Yong with an opportunity which he gladly took, finishing crisply with a shot from the edge of the box.

In the second half, South Korea looked like they believed they could grab an equaliser but Argentina‚ Higuain superior attacking quality shone through. Messi twice went close with clever shots after ghosting past his marker. Sung-Ryong kept the scoreline down with several excellent saves but he could not keep Argentina out forever.

Higuain got his second in the 76th minute but the credit should go to Messi. The Barcelona man dribbled past two defenders before hitting the post and the rebound fell kindly for Higuain to knock in.

The punishment was not over for South Korea. Four minutes later, Messi released substitute Kun Aguero and he crossed for Higuain to complete his hat-trick with a firm header and all but ensure Argentina‚ Higuain‚ place in the last 16.

Team Line-up:

Argentina: Sergio Romero, Martin Demichelis, Walter Samuel (Burdisso 23'), Gabriel Heinze, Jonas Gutierrez, Javier Mascherano (C), Maxi Rodriguez, Angel Di Maria, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez (Aguero 77'), Gonzalo Higuain.

South Korea: Jung Sung-ryong, Oh Beom-Seok, Lee Young-Pyo, Cho Yong-hyung, Lee Jung-soo, Kim Jung-woo, Ki-Sung yong (Kim Nam II 46'), Park Ji-sung (C), Lee Chung-yong, Park Chu-young, Yeom Ki-hun.


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