BBC Sport world-cup-2010


Argentina 4-1 South Korea

By Chris Bevan & Sam Lyon
  1. 09:01 Commentary  

    Good morning from a slightly subdued South Africa. I'm Chris Bevan in Cape Town, and this is day seven of the 2010 World Cup... not that the hosts are going to enjoy it too much, I'm afraid.

  2. 09:08 Commentary  

    Yep, last night's defeat by Uruguay leaves Carlos Alberto Parreira's side in real danger of being the first home nation in the tournament's history to fail to get out of the first group stage. There were still vuvuzelas being played outside my hotel room late last night but not with anything like the same gusto as last weekend and, this morning, the local press do not exactly appear confident of their team progressing either.

  3. 09:16 Commentary  

    But don't despair, we've got three games to look forward to today for a start... Including a second look at Lionel Messi - that should cheer everyone up surely? Messi's Argentina side and South Korea will be going for their second wins in Group B when they meet at Soccer City Stadium at 12:30 BST, while Greece and Nigeria will both look for their first win in their game at Bloemfontein at 15:00 BST. Then we return to Group A for France against Mexico in Polokwane at 19:30... surely the French will improve on their early form, right? I hope so...

  4. 09:22 Commentary  

    Yesterday was a momentous day, and not only because of Switzerland's shock win over Spain... it meant that all 32 teams at this World Cup have now played at least one game. Now, it's far too early to decide who's going to win the thing, but it is at least taking shape. Germany are probably the most impressive team so far but their legendary former striker and manager Jurgen Klinsmann is not getting carried away by the hype, He told me yesterday: "They have got off to a great start and will have a lot of confidence but the question now is how strong mentally they are because they are still a young team. We don't know yet how they will cope with going behind, especially in the knockout stages."

  5. 09:33 Commentary  

    Mind you, there's plenty of debate on how the tournament as a whole is shaping up too... a few more goals would be nice, wouldn't they? Plenty of ways to let me know what you think, though: Text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), I'm on Twitter @chrisbevan_bbc or join the chat on 606.

  6. 606  

    From gunner-zp - Bendtner and Vela to shine in SAfrica: "Todays the day the goals begin to fly in!"

  7. Commentary South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira on his side's hopes of reaching the last 16  

    "Of course everybody is sad and disappointed, but the competition is not yet
    finished. We can't put our heads down, we have to fight until the end. Only by beating France do we have a chance of getting through so we have to be more aggressive in that game. We still have a chance to get four points, France are difficult but it's not impossible to beat them."

  8. 09:43 Commentary  

    It seems plain wrong to be thinking about next season already - we're still in the first week of the World Cup for goodness sake... but believe it or not, the fixtures for the English domestic season are out already. Some tasty opening treats too - like Arsenal-Liverpool, Manchester United-Newcastle and Tottenham-Man City on the first Premier League weekend, but I'm going to ignore all that for now - let's talk about the likes of Messi instead please. Agree?

  9. 606  

    From 1988vale2spurs1: "Messi might know how to use the ball but his team-mates would prefer it if he learned how to pass it. He was incredibly selfish v Nigeria & on several occasions him passing rather than shooting would have paid dividends for his team."

  10. 10:01 Commentary  

    Everyone here in Cape Town is eagerly awaiting the arrival of England for tomorrow's game with Algeria... there's quite a few England fans already here mind, and there's likely to be a cracking atmosphere in the city over the next couple of days. To find out more about all the venues in South Africa that are hosting games in this World Cup, why not check out our clickable guide on the BBC website?

  11. Twitter  

    From JamieCutteridge: "The goals might not be flooding in yet, but the last 2 days have both had exciting, quality matches. Goals? Overrated."

  12. 606  

    From speedster2368: "Re 09:43. The best players are the best players in the world because they are selfish. They take on runs and shots where others would pass. Case and point: Maradonna vs. England 1986. The legitimate goal that is."

  13. 10:18 Commentary  

    Some interesting news from one of my spies who has been watching France train behind closed doors this week. I'm told Nicolas Anelka will continue as a lone striker in tonight's clash with Mexico (live on BBC One and this website) and Thierry Henry will again be used as a 'joker de luxe' (super sub). Interestingly, given the alleged rifts in the squad, one of coach Raymond Domenech's favoured players, the playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, is apparently going to be dropped on the request of Franck Ribery, who has taken on the role of team 'leader'.

  14. 10:22 Commentary  

    France have been using a 4-2-3-1 formation in training, with Franck Ribery in the centre behind Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda on the left and Sidney Govou keeping his place on the right. Player power: good or bad? Discuss.

  15. SMS  

    From Rich: "After yesterday's games I was hopeful we might be in for a hat trick of exciting matches today. Then I saw Greece v Nigeria on the list. Does anyone think Norwich or Leeds could beat Greece or is it just me? Still, Argentina v South Korea should be a cracker. Cue 0-0."

  16. 10:35 Commentary  

    If you have found this World Cup difficult viewing at times, then spare a thought for two Australian sisters in Sydney, who have set an unofficial world record for continuous TV-watching after sitting through 87 hours (that's three-and-a-half days) of uninterrupted World Cup and football coverage. They were monitored by a team of officials who made sure they did not look away from the screen for more than five seconds (even during Portugal versus Ivory Coast, which was especially cruel). In case you were wondering, they were allowed an, er, 'comfort break' for five minutes every hour.

  17. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson in Johannesburg  

    "It's the day after the night before in Joburg, but there is a determination for the show to go on despite South Africa's woes. Two Bafana fans just told me they saw the defeat by Uruguay coming - and now they're supporting Argentina!"

  18. SMS  

    From anon: "Re 10:22. Living in France I have to put up with the typical French arrogance that comes with tournament football, however after numerous debates with fans we are agreed that Sidney Govou shouldnt even be in the squad, he was at best a sub for Lyon last year, how Raymond Domenech overlooked Sami Nasri can only be explained by his immense eyebrows blocking his view!"

  19. Twitter  

    From ColinBoucher: "Re 10:22. If player power means Govou stays in the team then it's not a good thing."

  20. Commentary France captain Patrice Evra on his role at this World Cup  

    "I like to play within a very good team spirit. I am always making sure that the group remains together and in good spirits and we remain friends, play closely together and are frank with one another so we don't take our problems out onto the pitch."

  21. 11:00 Commentary  

    Right, I'm going to start building up properly to South Korea v Argentina in a moment or two but, before I do, why don't you get in the mood by listening to BBC Radio 5 live's resident songsmith Dave Henson and his musical take on the tournament so far, in the style of Rhianna's 'Umbrella'. It's very good you know.

  22. Commentary Argentina coach Diego Maradona on South Korea  

    "With all due respect they do not have a Messi. South Korea are based on a very strong collective block, they are very fast, they have an excellent team. They should be respected but we are going to win the match. Beating Korea would mean we're almost through. Argentina are not going to speculate - they are going to go out and win the match."

  23. Commentary South Korea coach Hung Jung-moo on his side's chances against Argentina  

    "I saw the match between Brazil and North Korea. Our players talked with them and they talked to us that they were very confident (against Brazil) even if they did lose. North Korea was more than capable of doing what they did and we talked with our players about that. Of course, watching the resistance by a weaker team against a stronger team, that made us think what we could do if we were in their place. It's an inspiration."

  24. SMS  

    From Lloydo, in london, with a week off, enjoying oodles of football: "Argentina need to keep their wits about them today. Spain's result yesterday will go out as a message to the minnows - 'there are other scalps to be had, just keep to the plan'."

  25. Twitter  

    From acmilanandrew: "Hopefully S.Korea will hve identified Jonas Gutierrez as the weak spot in that Argentine defence and attack him relentlessly."

  26. 11:21 Commentary  

    If South Korea fans are looking for an omen ahead of today's game, then maybe they should look away now... it is exactly 56 years since they played their first World Cup finals game, in Switzerland in 1954, when they lost 9-0 to Hungary. They were 4-0 down at half-time which probably wasn't the start they were looking for.

  27. 11:25 Commentary  

    Here's a bit of news for you too: Australia midfielder Tim Cahill has been banned for one match following his (slightly harsh in my book) red card in their 4-0 defetat by Germany. The Everton star will miss Saturday's game with Ghana but will return for the Socceroos final group match against Serbia on 23 June.

  28. SMS  

    From Dale in Peterborough: "Diego Maradona is so arrogant. I hope South Korea stun Argentina like the Swiss managed yesterday against Spain. I'm definitely Korean for the day."

  29. 11:35 Commentary  

    Right, here's the deal for the rest of the day: Sam Lyon's going to take you through the rest of the build-up to Argentina-South Korea, and the game itself too, before I return for Greece v Nigeria at 15:00 BST. Then Jonathan Stevenson takes over for France against Mexico. Got all that? Good. See you later.

  30. 11:40 Commentary  

    So you love the Vuvuzelas do you? You like listening to ditties glorying in their magic? You think they're a colourful and harmless addition to this World Cup? Well tell that to Arsene Wenger. Tell that to Wimbledon. Tell that to Sven Wipperfuerth (27) from Rommerskirchen, North Rhine Westfalen! Shame on you all. Anyway, I'm Sam Lyon and it's Argentina-South Korea time. Nice.

  31. 11:43 Commentary Argentina v S Korea teams  

    Argentina: 22-Sergio Romero; 2-Martin Demichelis, 13-Walter Samuel, 6-Gabriel Heinze, 17-Jonas Gutierrez; 14-Javier Mascherano, 20-Maxi Rodriguez, 7-Angel Di Maria; 10-Lionel Messi, 11-Carlos Tevez, 9-Gonzalo Higuain.
    South Korea: 18-Jung Sung-ryong; 2-Oh Beom-seok, 12-Lee Young-pyo, 4-Cho Yong-hyung, 14-Lee Jung-soo, 8-Kim Jung-woo, 16-Ki Sung-yong, 7-Park Ji-sung, 17-Lee Chung-yong, 10-Park Chu-young, 19-Yeom Ki-hun.
    Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)

  32. 606  

    From kebablips: "Is this World Cup really that bad? I love that the small teams are working hard against the big ones. I love the closeness and, while goals are good, I think its just as good seeing a close, tough battle. This reminds me of 2002 with the shocks - I'm hoping for another good day of football!"

  33. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Soccer City  

    "What a story Diego Maradona's return to the World Cup after a 16-year absence is proving to be - and the Argentina coach gets a great reception as he walks out on the pitch for a look around in front of a steadily filling up Soccer City. Among the early arrivals in the stands were a group of a few hundred schoolkids decked out smartly in blue uniforms - no doubt hoping to be taught a footballing lesson by Lionel Messi and co today."

  34. 11:48 Commentary  

    Now then, with the players out and about at a relatively chilly Soccer City, why not take the opportunity to delve deep inside your brains and pull out a few nuggets that I can publish on this commentary? You can text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), I'm on Twitter @sampatricklyon or join the chat on 606. This is your moment people, don't miss it.

  35. Twitter  

    PaulKingUK: "I am hoping S.Korea stuff Argentina as well. The Swiss result against Spain was brilliant."

  36. 11:55 Commentary  

    Twenty-four years ago, Argentina and South Korea met in the 1986 World Cup group stages in Mexico. Up against the eventual winners and the genius of England's soon-to-be tormentor Diego Maradona, South Korea hatched a plan - which mainly involved Huh Jung-moo, a nuggety midfielder, spending the entire 90 minutes kicking Maradona's backside around the park. "He was not playing football - it was more like taekwondo," said Maradona. "I did not kick him intentionally. I did not even get a yellow card during the match," replied Huh Jung-moo.Argentina won that match 3-1 and, today, Maradona and Huh Jung-moo meet again - this time as coaches. Make no mistake, this time it's personal (dun dun dun)...

  37. SMS  

    From Anon: "I am beginning to get apprehensive, especially with this World Cup, of players-turned-managers like Maradona and Dunga. I’m waiting to be surprised."

  38. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Soccer City  

    On Twitter: "It's not just South Africa who've got rhythm - the Argentines were clapping and singing as their bus pulled in to Soccer City this morning... And now the stadium screens are showing highlights of last night's South Africa game on the big screens. Way to get people in the mood."

  39. 12:02 Commentary Argentina v S Korea team news  

    Argentina boss Diego Maradona resists the temptation to give Champions League winner Diego Milito a start up front and makes just one alteration from the side that started against Nigeria, Liverpool's Maxi Rodriguez replacing Juan Veron, who is reported to be struggling with a calf injury, in midfield. There is also one change for South Korea following their victory over Greece as Oh Beom-seok comes in for Cha Du-ri at right-back.

  40. Twitter  

    From ewancotter: "Veron out, Maxi in? What happened to the defensive-minded Maradona from the qualifiers? This is five up front - Ossie Ardiles' Spurs style!"

  41. 12:10 Commentary  

    Despite what Argentina boss Diego Maradona might have you believe, this need not be a walkover for his side at all. South Korea - semi-finalists in 2002 - are unbeaten in their last 19 competitive matches, and have scored 21 goals in 12 games this season, including wins over the Ivory Coast and Japan, and a narrow 1-0 friendly defeat to Spain. In Park Ji-sung, too, they have their first player to score at three World Cups. Another World Cupset anyone?

  42. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage  

    "I watch football all over the world and Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain is a player I really admire. With Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero on the bench, they really are spoilt for choice in attack. The only thing is, if they get injuries in defence, they could have problems."

  43. SMS  

    From Craig, Newcastle: "I just can't see Korea causing a Swiss-style upset today. Argentina are strong and the little magician Lionel Messi has far too many tricks up his sleeve. If Maradona can curb his egocentricties, then they'll go far in this competition."

  44. 12:20 Commentary  

    Having said that (at 12:10), Argentina aren't in bad shape themselves. They have won their last six international matches, have not conceded in four, are unbeaten in seven straight World Cup games - and in Lionel Messi, they have an unarguable genius desperate to score having bagged just once in his last 10 internationals. He and manager Diego Maradona seem to be getting on quite well, too, despite fears to the contrary. Which is nice.

  45. SMS  

    From Bryan in Southampton: "I would love for Korea to cause an upset here. They are a fit, fast and disciplined side with some flair too! Dae han min guk!"

  46. Contributor Argentina coach Diego Maradona  

    "South Korea are based on a very strong collective block, they are very fast, they have an excellent team. They should be respected but we are going to win the match. Beating Korea would mean we're almost through. Argentina are not going to speculate - they are going to go out and win the match."

  47. Contributor South Korea coach Huh Jung-moo  

    "If you are too intimidated and lose your self-confidence you can't attain anything. That's why I have told my team to enjoy this match. Argentina are a strong team, but the strongest team doesn't always win."

  48. 12:25 Commentary  

    Here come the anthems, sunshine bathing Johannesburg, and the Soccer City stadium not quite packed to the rafters. Ready?

  49. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Soccer City  

    "A hug and a kiss for every one of his starting XI in the tunnel and Argentina and Diego Maradona are good to go. It's hard to take your eyes off the little man. Just a shame Soccer City isn't full again for what is a potentially mouthwatering Group B contest."

  50. 12:30 KICK-OFF  

    Argentina get us up and running.

  51. 2 mins Commentary  

    Argentina into their stride immediately, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain all getting an early touch in a move that forces a corner - but it comes to nothing.

  52. 5 mins Commentary  

    Argentina, as expected, shape up in their fluid 4-3-3 formation, while South Korea - who probably didn't need telling twice the size of their task this afternoon - immediately get men behind the ball and pack the defence early on. Huh Jung-moo's men will bide their time before showing too much ambition it would seem.

  53. 6 mins Commentary  

    It doesn't look in these early stages as if Lionel Messi will be man-marked by South Korea this afternoon - although Lee Jung-soo has just had a nibble at the little man's ankles. All Argentina in terms of possession so far.

  54. 8 mins Commentary  

    Gonzalo Higuain has the briefest of looks at goal as Argentina burst through Carlos Tevez, but the Real Madrid frontman lashes his shot wide from the angle.

  55. 9 mins Commentary  

    And there we are - South Korea have the ball inside the Argentina half for the first time. Lee Young-pyo dances around a couple of tackles down the left, but Argentina soon clear their lines.

  56. 10 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Yeom Ki-hun is the first man into the book after a foul on Lionel Messi.

  57. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage  

    "South Korea seem happy to let Argentina have the ball in own half but as soon as Lionel Messi or Carlos Tevez have get hold of possession there are four men immediately around them. That's what you've got to do to have any chance of containing Argentina."

  58. 12 mins Commentary  

    Lionel Messi just misplaced a pass. I repeat, Lionel Messi just misplaced a pass. Unbelievable.

  59. 15 mins Commentary  

    Better from South Korea as they apply some pressure down Argentina's right, and then down the left after a switch of play. Park Chu-young attempts a cross after a good spell of possession but it is cut out well by Gabriel Heinze. South Korea are here to play, though, for sure.

  60. 16 mins GOAL Argentina 1-0 South Korea  

    Oh dear. Poor old Park Chu-young, the South Korean forward inadvertantly deflecting Lionel Messi's free-kick from the left past his helpless keeper under little to no pressure at all. Advantage Argentina.

  61. 19 mins Commentary  

    South Korea go for an immediate riposte, but Ki Sung-yong's slammed effort from outside the area flies narrowly over Sergio Romero's goal.

  62. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage  

    "The goal was poor defending from the South Koreans but you've got to praise the delivery from Messi. His first set-piece - an early corner - was rubbish but his second was magnificent. I think this could be the day when the World Cup comes to life."

  63. 22 mins Commentary  

    Argentina could be forced into a change here as defender Walter Samuel asks for treatment on his hamstring. He trots back on moments later, but Nicolas Burdisso warms up on the sidelines nonetheless.

  64. 23 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Argentina centre-half Walter Samuel is, indeed, unable to carry on - so Nicolas Burdisso comes on as a like-for-like replacement.

  65. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Soccer City  

    "Two days after a freak own goal in the Netherlands-Denmark in this stadium, Soccer City witnesses another moment of huge misfortune as South Korea go behind. Now, can Argentina build on their early lead, or are they going to continue to be frustrated as they were against Nigeria?"

  66. 26 mins Commentary  

    Oh Beom-seok has a pop from range for South Korea - but it is in danger of troubling only the Vuvuzela-wielding fans behind the goal. Shame.

  67. 27 mins Commentary  

    Lionel Messi, not for the first time, is bundled over by a South Korean defender - Cho Yong-hyung this time - and Argentina have a free-kick 30 yards out, just left of the centre of goal...

  68. 28 mins Commentary  

    ...bosh! Cracking hit from Carlos Tevez, his drilled shot screaming inches over Jung Sung-ryong's bar. That was close.

  69. SMS  

    From Jibola, Lagos: "It will be disappointing for me if we fail to see a goal from the current footballer of the year. Lionel Messi, please give us a goal."

  70. 31 mins Commentary  

    Carlos Tevez is enjoying himself out there, he really is. He shows a few touches of pure skill in another patient Argentina build-up, but the final ball is again lacking from Jonas Gutierrez out on the right. South Korea are doing their best to break when they can in reply, but they really aren't showing any kind of cohesion going forward.

  71. 33 mins GOAL Argentina 2-0 South Korea  

    It's 2-0, and Argentina have their first 2010 World Cup goal from open play. Maxi Rodriguez drifts a nice ball right-footed in from the left, Nicolas Burdisso flicks it on, and Gonzalo Higuain - onside - is in miles of space as he picks his spot with his header at the back stick. Is that game, set and match?

  72. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage  

    "This is what the World Cup needs - a top team living up to their billing as one of the tournament favourites. That said, South Korea look overawed. They're out of their depth."

  73. 38 mins Commentary  

    This is very impressive from Argentina, a performance built on their willingness and commitment to win the ball back when they lose possession. Carlos Tevez - who else? - is typifying such an approach, but the work-rate of Diego Maradona's side is almost as impressive as their guile going forward.

  74. 40 mins Commentary  

    South Korea keeper Jung Song-ryong spills a cross only as far as Angel di Maria, but makes immediate amends with a flying save from the Argentina winger's goalbound shot. Excellent stop.

  75. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Soccer City  

    "Having looked so super organised against Greece, it's strange to find South Korea defending like schoolboys - and they are getting punished by an Argentina side enjoying their football and with almost one foot in the last 16 now. Feels like we haven't seen the end of the scoring, either."

  76. 43 mins Commentary  

    Lionel Messi and then Carlos Tevez take turns in charging at the South Korean defence with the ball - but despite the rabbit-in-the-headlight expressions on their faces, Huh Jung-moo's men just about manage to stent the Argentines' flurry.

  77. 45 mins Commentary  

    Well - that was almost the moment we've been waiting for. Lionel Messi charges at the South Korean defence, puts the brakes on with consummate ease, and then drifts a doozy of an attempted lob from 25 yards only just past Jung Sung-ryong's post.

  78. 45 mins GOAL Argentina 2-1 South Korea  

    Out. Of. Nothing. Martin Demichelis dallies far too long on his clearance and Lee Chung-yong is in like a flash, nicking the ball off the Argentine's feet and clipping a composed finish beyond keeper Sergio Romero with aplomb.

  79. 13:18 HALF-TIME Argentina 2-1 South Korea  
  80. 13:20 Commentary  

    So, erm, where did that come from? Have we got a match on our hands now?

  81. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Soccer City  

    "Well that last piece of action has put the cat right amongst the pigeons. After a half of complete dominance, Martin Demichelis's ridiculously risky bit of defending has given South Korea a sniff when they should be dead and buried. Lovely finish from Lee Chung-yong, who must have thought it was his birthday. It isn't."

  82. Twitter  

    From Colin Boucher: "Quality finish from Chungy. Been doing that all season for BWFC. Hope we keep him!"

  83. 13:25 Commentary  

    Now then, while you get your heads around South Korea somehow still being in this match, why not find out what BBC Radio 5 live commentator Conor McNamara thinks about the controversial Jabulani ball or why Everton manager David Moyes does not believe there is such a thing as a favourite at this World Cup? Have a listen and take a breather.

  84. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage  

    "We've said it from the start, Argentina's weak spot is their central defence. They've got everything they could want in attack but they're weak at the back. That's my biggest worry for them at this World Cup."

  85. 13:32 Commentary Argentina 2-1 South Korea  

    And South Korea get us back under way in the second half.

  86. 46 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    South Korea's Kim Nam-il replaces fellow midfielder Ki Sung-yong. Nam-il is a defensive midfielder, apparently, nicknamed "The Hoover". Quality nickname.

  87. 48 mins Commentary  

    Argentina force the first corner of the half, but when it falls to Lionel Messi on the edge of the area he can only volley harmlessly wide from 20 yards out.

  88. 51 mins Commentary  

    Would be interesting to know what Diego Maradona told his team at half-time - he looked like he was telling them to relax at the break, as if saying "everything will be fine". I wonder if he saved the hairdryer treatment for behind closed doors? Anyway, as with the first half - Argentina are controlling things again.

  89. 52 mins Commentary  

    Oh, lovely move. Argentina work the ball well from right to left and it ends with Angel di Maria laying it into Gonzalo Higuain eight yards out, whose snap-volley is well kept out on the dive by South Korea keeper Jung Sung-Ryong. The corner comes to nothing.

  90. 53 mins Commentary  

    Argentina knocking on the door again - Jung Sung-ryong down well to keep out Carlos Tevez's long-ranger.

  91. 54 mins YELLOW CARD  

    That's Jonas Gutierrez out of the final game of the group, booked for throwing the ball away. Presumably, if Walter Samuel is fit, that will mean Nicolas Burdisso reverting to right-back against Greece.

  92. 55 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Two bookings in a minute as Javier Mascherano has his name taken for a lunging tackle - few complaints, there, to be fair.

  93. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Soccer City  

    "It's so finely-poised, this one. Argentina are creating chances and looking like they could score every time they go forward, but South Korea are dangerous themselves on the break and the lead is still so slender. Boring World Cup? No sign of it here."

  94. 58 mins Commentary  

    That's how slender Argentina's lead is. South Korea should be level - Lee Chung-yong breaks well and lays a beautiful ball into Yeom Ki-hun's path as he bursts into the area, but the striker can only slap his effort past the onrushing keeper and into the side-netting.

  95. 61 mins Commentary  

    South Korea certainly look a different side in this half - pressing Argentina high up the pitch and buzzing about their opponents in a fashion that was far too alien in the first half - and all of a sudden Diego Maradona's are not so comfortable.

  96. SMS  

    From Michael from Letchworth: "The Pumas have more than enough quality on the bench in the shape of Aguero and Milito to put South Korea in their place. Since the defence isn't working that well why not take off a couple of them and bring on more attacking players?"

  97. 65 mins Commentary  

    Lionel Messi's free-kick causes a heart-flutter or two in the South Korean defence, but neither Gabriel Heinze nor Carlos Tevez can get a touch on it and keeper Jung Sung-ryong collects.

  98. SMS  

    From Rob, Newbury: "The hype about Lionel Messi is ridiculous. He has made one great run - and has otherwise miscontrolled, passed badly, fouled and dived. The sickening sycophancy is horrible."

  99. 68 mins Commentary  

    To be fair to Rob, below, Lionel Messi really has not got going so far today. South Korea still look frightened to pieces by him whenever he gets the ball, mind.

  100. 70 mins Commentary  

    Snap-shot by Gonzalo Higuain from Maxi Rodriguez's slide-rule pass, but it is collected low down by the South Korean keeper.

  101. 73 mins Commentary  

    With 20 minutes or so to go, there's little doubt South Korea fancy getting something out of this match. End-to-end stuff this, now.

  102. 74 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Another Argentine goes into referee Frank de Bleeckere's book, and this time it's Gabriel Heinze for a deliberate - and needless - handball.

  103. 75 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Time for Diego Maradona to make a change up front - and it's Sergio Aguero on for Carlos Tevez. Treble winner Diego Milito remains on the bench. Blimey.

  104. 77 mins GOAL Argentina 3-1 South Korea  

    A goal had been coming, we just weren't sure who from. It's Gonzalo Higuain, the Real Madrid striker poking into an empty net after Lionel Messi - first denied by keeper Jung Sung-ryong - sees his rebound effort ricochet off the post. Game over.

  105. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Soccer City  

    "Not Lionel Messi's best game by any stretch of the imagination, but South Korea couldn't live with his pace and movement in that moment and it's surely good enough to win Argentina the points now. Does that almost count as an inspired substitution from Maradona?"

  106. 80 mins GOAL Argentina 4-1 South Korea  

    Hat-trick - and it's the best of the lot by a mile. A terrific counter-attack from Argentina ends with Lionel Messi laying a delightful chip over the defence to Sergio Aguero, whose clipped cross is headed home on the run by Gonzalo Higuain. A cracking move and, yes, a cracking substitution from Diego Maradona.

  107. Twitter  

    From Eoin_Finnegan: "RE: Rob on Messi - I cannot believe an Englishman is complaining about someone being overhyped!"

  108. 84 mins Commentary  

    So Higuain has scored the first World Cup hat-trick since Portugal's Pauleta netted three in a 4-0 rout of Poland in 2002. And our friends from Infostrada Sports tell us it's the first Argentine World Cup hatto since Gabriel "Batigol" Batistuta against Jamaica in 1998. Is that the Golden Boot won already?

  109. 87 mins Commentary  

    Understandably, this game is going through the motions a touch now. Sergio Aguero - lively since his introduction - makes a nice burst that is only ended by a good tackle inside the South Korean box, but Huh Jung-moo's men look a spent force otherwise.

  110. 90 mins Commentary  

    We'll have two minutes of added time, but you get the impression South Korea wouldn't mind hearing the whistle right now. I can't say I blame them after that late Argentine salvo.

  111. 90 mins Commentary  

    Park Ji-sung looks to add a touch of respectability to the scoreline for South Korea, but his effort from range is well held low down by Sergio Romero in the Argentina goal.

  112. 14:20 FULL-TIME Argentina 4-1 South Korea  

    That's that - and a very impressive attacking performance from Argentina it was too. They have one foot in the last 16, now, surely.

  113. Contributor BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Soccer City  

    "Diego Maradona is all over Lionel Messi as the two little giants of Argentine football walk down the tunnel at Soccer City, but Gonzalo Higuain is the hero of the day with a hat-trick that surely puts them into the last 16. On this evidence, not many teams will want to play them, but with a shaky defence and incredible attack this team might just liven the tournament up all on its own."

  114. 14:30 Commentary  

    Right, that's it from me, Sam Lyon, on this one - head straight over to Greece-Nigeria with Chris Bevan for all the reaction to Argentina's fine win and the match action from the Free State Stadium. You might not be expecting a classic - but stranger things have happened! And a reminder for you UK TV fans that Match of the Day is on BBC Two at 2320 BST tonight, not 2200. However, it will be available at 2200 BST on the red button and the web. See ya.

By Jonathan Stevenson, Johannesburg

Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat-trick as Argentina saw off South Korea at Soccer City to all but book their place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Higuain struck once in the first half and twice in quick succession after the break as Diego Maradona's side made it two wins out of two in Group B and fired another warning that they are one of the teams to beat in South Africa.

An own goal from Park Chu-Young got Argentina off to the perfect start before Higuain nodded in, and after Martin Demichelis' error allowed Lee Chung-Yong to pull a goal back, Maradona's side got the goals their dominance perhaps deserved.

It was an authority they had exerted from the first whistle and, despite a spell of South Korean pressure in the second half as they pressed for an equaliser, Argentina were thoroughly deserving of the points.

South Korea coach Huh Jung-Moo, who played against Maradona at the 1986 World Cup, saw his team struggle to live with Argentina's quick tempo and the quality of their pass-and-move football.

They took the lead when Lionel Messi's free-kick from the left hit the unfortunate Park Chu-Young on the knee before flying in and the goal buoyed an already buzzing Albiceleste as they continued to attack the South Korea goal with pace and in numbers.

South Korea's brief forays forward were resulting in the occasional shot from range, with Ki Sung-Yeung's 25-yard screamer flying narrowly over, but after Carlos Tevez had drilled a free-kick inches too high, Argentina doubled their lead thanks to more shaky defending.

This time, Messi and Maxi Rodriguez were allowed all the time and space they wanted to take a quick free-kick down the left and when Maxi's cross was flicked on by Nicolas Burdisso, Higuain had the simple task of nodding in.

Angel di Maria then forced a flying save from Jung Sung-Ryong, and Messi thrilled the crowd with a brilliantly jinking run before clipping a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

But with half-time looming, Dimichelis handed South Korea an unlikely lifeline. Caught between deciding to clear his lines or pass back to his goalkeeper he did neither, and Lee nipped in to steal the ball off him and superbly finish past the advancing Sergio Romero.

Suddenly there was a game on, and the teams traded attacks after the break.

Higuain's close-range finish brought a stunning save from Jung, and Tevez forced another save from Jung with his 20-yard drive, while at the other end Yeom Ki-Hun wasted a golden chance to get South Korea back on level terms as he shot wide when through one-on-one with Romero after Lee's fine pass.

Yeom paid the price when Argentina counter-attacked, and after Messi's shot hit the post Higuain tapped in. But they saved their best for last as Messi's stunning chip enabled Sergio Aguero to cross for Higuain to head home to complete his treble.

It was the first World Cup hat-trick since Portugal's Pauleta in 2002 and the first from an Argentine since Gabriel Batistuta in 1998.

Argentina Argentina Flag 4-1 South Korea Flag South Korea FT

(HT 2-1)

Park Chu-Young (og), 16
Higuain, 33, 76, 80
Lee Chung-Yong, 45+1


  • Venue: Soccer City
  • Referee: F De Bleeckere
  • Attendance: 82,174
Argentina     South Korea
  • Possession 53%
  • Attempts on target 11
  • Attempts off target 8
  • Corners 6
  • Fouls 16

Projected table based on current scores

Group A

Group A teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams P W D L F A GD PTS
USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

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