Saturday, June 12, 2010
Lionel Messi would have scored four if not for Nigeria's brilliant goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama. Enyeama was the star man in this Group B match. So don't let the scoreline fool you, it was a one-sided 1-0 affair! For all Enyeama's heroics, a Gabriel Heinze header was enough to edge out Nigeria. Heinze's goal was literally dropped onto his head by Juan Sebastian Veron. It was his fifth World Cup assist, making him the second highest Argentinian assist leader behind Diego Maradona.
These were the four moments in the match that Vincent Enyeama denied Messi, keeping the scoreline respectable.
In the 5th minute,
Great play by Messi again! Enyeama has to push his goalbound shot from outside the area over the bar.
In the 17th minute,
Another determined run by Messi, he tries to find the bottom corner with a curling effort and Enyeama has to get down low to his right to push away.
In the 37th minute,
What a save! Messi and Mascherano work a one-two from the free-kick and Messi's effort was going top corner before Enyeama's fingertips pushed it wide.
Finally in the 81st minute,
Oooooh! Messi and Di Maria play a sublime one-two which sets Messi clean through. Yet again Enyeama is equal to the effort, making himself big to make the save. If only the defence had done its job early in the match.
Sometimes it's hard to know which Argentina team will show up but all through this week, Maradona and his charges have really developed a strong team spirit, 23 players inspired by the task of winning the World Cup. The Albiceleste played excellent and powerful football against Nigeria. At times in the match, it was like watching Barcelona, Nigeria hardly had the ball. There is genuine belief that Argentina, with a bit of luck, can go all the way in South Africa. The defence still looked shaky but should improve as the tournament progresses.
But it is Nigeria after all, South Korea should prove a much sterner test but Argentina's hopes of being World champions will be boosted by this vital win.
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