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Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 17:37 UK

World Cup 2010: Maradona revelling in 'easy' job

Argentina celebrate beating South Korea

Highlights -Argentina 4-1 South Korea

Diego Maradona announced he has an "easy job" coaching Argentina after watching his side beat South Korea 4-1 to close in on a place in the last 16.

Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat-trick to add to Park Chu-Young's own goal as Argentina took control of Group B.

"I feel good vibrations now we have almost qualified for the last 16 - the way we played was tremendous," he said. "It gives me peace of mind.

"When you have amazing players like I have, then my job is an easy one."

Argentina sparkled in attack, with Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria, and Higuain all excelling.

Gonzalo Higuain

Higuain scores Argentina's third

Higuain became the tournament's top scorer as he netted the first World Cup hat-trick since Pauleta's for Portugal in 2002.

"I'm very happy to score the goals, but we have to think of the team as a whole," said the striker, who scored 27 goals for Real Madrid last season.

Maradona celebrated the victory, which followed a 1-0 win over Nigeria in their opener, by hugging and kissing his players, but he insisted afterwards: "I still prefer women.

"I am dating Veronica, who is blonde and 31 years old. But I like to acknowledge and congratulate my players when they play as well as they did today. That was a pleasing result and display. It was a job well done."

The only black mark for Argentina came when Martin Demichelis was caught in possession, allowing Lee Chung-Yong to pull one back just before half-time.

But Maradona could afford to be philosophical after his side's strong second-half performance.

"Everyone makes mistakes. At the end if the day it did not cost us anything and it is forgotten," he said.

"It emboldened the team because in the second half they came out with a strong attitude - they did it for a team-mate who had made a mistake.

606: DEBATE

"South Korea were never capable of controlling us. Of course, they scored but they were never able to dominate any part of the match.

"This shows what we have been training for was right. We have discussed certain elements before and they were able to produce that on the pitch. Everything went well."

Maradona wrapped up his post-match press conference by saying he made peace with Uefa president Michel Platini.

Maradona criticised the former French star, along with Brazil legend Pele, following the reports had attacked his managerial style, but the Argentine coach showed a letter sent to him by Platini clarifying that he had not made such comments.

Maradona added: "I want to say sorry to Platini - but not to Pele."

Park Chu-Young

Own goal gifts Argentina the lead



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see also
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Maradona blasts Pele and Platini
16 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Argentina
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
Argentina Photo Album
28 Apr 10 |  World Cup 2010


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