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Page last updated at 22:02 GMT, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 23:02 UK

World Cup 2010: Lagerback rues Nigeria finishing

South Korea celebrate their 2-1 lead.

Highlights - South Korea 2-2 Nigeria

Nigeria coach Lars Lagerback was left rueing the missed chances that cost his side victory over South Korea and confirmed their World Cup elimination.

Striker Yakubu missed an open goal as Nigeria could only manage a 2-2 draw with South Korea, a result which handed the Asian side a place in the last 16.

"I was disappointed about all the chances," said Lagerback.

"Mostly I feel disappointed and sad. It's the results that count so there is not much to say."

Nigeria would have become the first team to lose their opening two games at a World Cup and still progress to the last 16 had they converted one of their chances to beat South Korea late on.

Ayegbeni Yakubu

Yakubu misses open goal

But, after defeats by Argentina and Greece, the Nigerian side were unable to take the critical three points.

Yakubu scored a penalty to pull Nigeria level at 2-2 in the second half, but the Everton striker had missed an incredible opportunity minutes earlier.

From four yards out Yakubu had an empty net to aim at when the ball was pulled back to him but he somehow caught the ball with his heel and sent it skimming past the right post - a miss former England striker Alan Shearer called "the worst miss I have ever seen".

And the profligacy continued, with substitute Obafemi Martins running onto a pass from Chinedu Obasi and chipping the ball over the goalkeeper only to see it drift just wide, while Kalu Uche also hit the post.

Despite his disappointment, Lagerback was magnanimous in defeat.

"I can only congratulate the South Koreans," said Lagerback, who will have to watch on in frustration as the Asian side take on Uruguay in the last 16.

"I was a little bit sorry about all the time wasting, I don't think it's fair play, but I think the Nigeria players have done really well.

"The players have done really well. They worked hard over time."



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see also
South Korea proud to make last 16
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - South Korea 2-2 Nigeria
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Yakubu misses open goal
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Africa's World Cup sides criticised
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - Greece 2-1 Nigeria
17 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - Argentina 1-0 Nigeria
12 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Kaita gets threats after red card
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Etuhu rues inadequate preparation
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Poor marking frustrates Lagerback
12 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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