[GROUP B] Want goals? We got goals for you on the second day of play in Group B. Eight goals in total. As many as in the previous five games combined. Argentina
isn't yet assured of a berth in the second round, but its play in its two wins puts the Albiceleste among the favorites to win the World Cup. Here's what we liked and didn't like about Thursday's
action in Group B ...
What we liked ...
-- Many thought the French-born Gonzalo Higuain should cede his spot in the Albiceleste attack to Inter Milan's UEFA Champions League hero, Diego Milito, but all Higuain did against South Korea was score the first hat trick at the World Cup since Pauleta's three goals for Portugal against Poland in 2002. Higuain's three goals were the difference for Argentina, whose 4-1 victory all but clinched a berth in the second round.
-- The Greece-Nigeria game was the most wide-open game of the tournament, producing some rare end-to-end action. In the 59th minute, Greece almost scored when Nigerian defender Joseph Yobo headed the ball into the path of Fanis Gekas, whose shot is well-saved by Vincent Enyeama. The Super Eagles then charged down the other end and had Yakubu Aiyegbeni's shot saved by Alexandros Tzorvas and Chinedu Obasi's rebound fly wide of the open goal.
-- Greece's tying goal scored by Dimitris Salpingidis was the first goal it has ever scored in the World Cup, and Vassilis Torosidis' goal in the 71st minute gave the Greeks a 2-1 win and first victory in five World Cup games.
What we didn't like ...
-- South Korea opened with a 2-0 win over Greece, but its heavy loss to Argentina compromised its chances of reaching the knockout phase. It will need a tie against Nigeria and do at least as well as Greece does against Argentina to advance. (Despite two losses, Nigeria will move on if it beats South Korea and Greece loses to Argentina.)
-- You never know what effect red cards will have on a game, but the straight red Nigeria’s Sani Kaita was given in the 33rd minute for kicking out at Vassilis Torosidis for no apparent reason sure changed the complexion of the Greece-Nigeria game. The Super Eagles were leading 1-0 when Kaita went off and they ended up losing, 2-1, after being outshot, 21-6, after Kaita's expulsion.
-- Enyeama was brilliant in goal for Nigeria in its 1-0 loss to Argentina, but he was the goat on Thursday, failing to hold on to Alexandros Tziolis' shot on the play that produced Torosidis' winning goal.