Recaps and game analysis to follow one or two hours after each match.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Game 18: Argentina vs South Korea

Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina netted the first hat-trick of this years World Cup finals as his team went on to beat South Korea 4-1 on Thursday.

Both teams were coming off comfortable wins from the first week, and knew that a win in today's game would more than likely send them through to the second round.

The scoring opened up off of a South Korea own goal, when a cross into the box went off of striker Park Chu-Young's shin and into the net. Seventeen minutes later Higuain would score his first goal on the afternoon after another set piece play was layed off for Maxi Rodriquez who whips the ball into the box, and Burdisso gets the flick on to find Hiquain at the back post who taps it in for the teams second goal.

Argentina were looking to go into half-time with a two goal lead until Demichelis mis-controlled a header in the 46th minute, Lee Chung-Yong would run onto it and easily beat the keeper to get South Korea back into the game.

At the start of the second half Argentina were desperate to extend their lead, with a flurry of shots from Tevez at range, and Higuain with a point-blank volley, but the South Korean keeper Sung-Ryung comes up big to keep his team in the game.

South Korea would have the chance to equalize, when Ki-Hun would be fed a beautiful through ball, but he attempts to shoot with the outside of his foot, sending the ball harmlessly wide of the post in a wasted opportunity.

From here on out South Korea would be able to produce very little. Higuain would get his second goal in the 76th minute after Lionel Messi would make a brilliant run through the defense, taking a shot which is stopped by the goalie, then following up and rattling the post, the ball would come to the feet of Higuain at the back post who taps the ball in. His hat-trick goal, the first of these finals, would be scored in the 80th minute after heading in a cross, sending the ball back across the face of goal and past the goalkeepers reach.

Jonas Gutierrez would be unfortunate to pick up a yellow card during the match, his second of the group stage, which means he will be suspended for Argentina's final game against Greece.

Walter Samuel would also be substituted off in the first half with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, it is unclear how serious the injury is and if he will factor in Argentina's next game.

Argentina looked very good this match, linking up very well with each other, particularly between the three strikers of Tevez, Higuain, and Messi.  They will hope to keep this form down the line as they come up against defensive minded Greece, which will be played at Peter Mokaba Stadium, June 22nd.

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