So far so good for Maradona
Well a disappointing game all around. Argentina were the better side but their final ball was poor. That had a lot to do with Eneyama who was spectacular and the best player on the pitch and the only reason Nigeria lost by a goal. South Korea will be happy with this result as they go top on goal difference.
4 minutes of stoppage time.
90:00 - Argentina showing off a little bit with a bunch of slick passes and chips. Pretty to watch!
85:00 – Di Maria off and Burdisso on. Argentina trying to protect there slim 1-0 lead. Typical from a newbie coach as Di Maria was dangerous. Hopefully they won’t rue this substitution as Yakubu’s shot goes over the bar.
81:00 – IS this going to be Messi’s tournament? He performs a lovely 1 -2 with Di Maria and is one on one with Edeyama but the keeper gets down low and saves well. On the counter Uche has Nigeria’s best chance but the ball bounces high in front of him and his tap goes over the bar. That was a lot harder then it looked but one would have hoped he could have done better.
79:00 - Martins tries his luck from out far and finally they get a shot on target but Romero parries it away. Odemwingie who has been poor since being introduced sends a cross high and wide. Higuain off, Milito on.
77:00 – All told aside from Eneyama, Nigeria has been pretty disappointing in this game. I expected a lot more from them. If it wasn’t for the keeper it could easily have been 3 or 4 to 0.
75:00 - Taiwo apparently hurt himself or Nigeria are looking to score as he goes off and Uche comes on.
74:00 - Messi gets fouled right out side the box. Before the free kick though Veron comes off and Maxi Rodriguez comes on.
71:00 – Taiwo sends a hard shot that just flashes wide of the Argentine post. Closest the Super Eagles have been to challenging Romero’s goal.
66:00 – Back and forth play here as Higuain has an open shot saved well by Enyeama and the immediate breakaway falls to Odemwingie but he gets caught in two minds kicks the ball out of for a goal kick.
65:00 - After a Nigerian corner, Argentina break away beautifully through Tevez who tee’s up Messi but his placed shot is just wide. Nigeria are just not showing any determination.
63:00 – Nigerian fans beginning to boo their own players as Taiwo sends the sort of rugby kick that is used to being seen at this stadium as his shot goes a mile high over the Argentine goal.
60:00 – Well this might be exciting for Nigeria as Odemwingie comes on. Wonder why he started on the bench as he is Nigeria’s most exciting player.
58:00 – Nigeria just don’t seem to be bothered by this game. If they showed a little more desire and determination they would win the 50/50 balls and who knows what could happen. Right now they look very disinterested.
52:00 - Nigeria’s defense is shambolic as Samuel gets another free header off a corner. Luckily Samuel’s heading has been poor. Meanwhile Obinna is off and Martins is on.
49:00 – Argentina coming fast right after the gates. Messi gathers the ball from Tevez, passes it out wide to Veron who sends a low cross back to Messi but his slight touch goes just wide of the goal mouth. Pretty stuff though
TWEEET TWEEET and the second half is under way.
So Lalas did entertain me with this quote “Greece were highly entertaining in their complete ineptitude”. Not close to winning me over but a start!
Well Argentine go into the dressing room up a goal. Nigeria have found weaknesses in their opponents defense but haven’t done too much to trouble the Argentine back four. Lagerback is going to have to bring on a goal poacher or two in the second half.
45:00 – Veron does but he sends it high over the Nigerian goal. Game has petered out a bit after an initial 15 minutes of fast paced football.
44:00 - Messi goes on a mazy run and is finally fouled right outside the box. Beautiful ball control by the 23 year old. who will take the free kick?
41:00 – Yellow card for Gutierrez. Taiwo takes the free kick but it’s well punched out by Sergio Romero.
37:00 - A training ground free kick which is a give and go with Messi has the little Barcelona striker trying to chip Eneyama but the keeper is equal to the task and pushes it out for a corner. Nice save.
31:00 – Both teams seem a little tired as Argentina lazily pass the ball around the back line and Nigeria are content to let them do so.
28:00 – Nigeria showing more intent as they are attacking in waves. Lots of inviting balls in the box but the final touch is either lacking or not there.
23:00 - Am impressed that Veron is still a key figure in his national side. After being one of the bigger names in Europe for many years, he has disappeared to a kind of world football obscurity by playing for Estudiantes in the Argentine league. Still can thread the killer pass though.
21:00 – Higuain doing what he does best and misses a a very good opportunity as he shoots directly at the keeper after being beautifully set up by Tevez. Milito would have put that away.
19:00 - Each team is looking for that killer pass but neither is succeeding. Nigeria need to pass the ball on the ground in order to beat Argentina. Unfortunately they are trying to do it in the air.
15:00 – A very open game happening here as balls long and short are being strung all over the field by both teams.
10:00 – Sloppy defense by Walter Samuel gives Nigeria a 2 on 2 but Samuel makes amends and conceededs a corner. Nigeria really pressing now.
6:00 – GOOOOOOOOALLLL Heinze. Poor marking of the corner as Heinze has a free header that he thumps into the back of the net. Argentina 1 – Nigeria 0
6:00 – Big mistake by Nigeria sets up messi who sends a chip shot that Enyeama does wonderfully to save.
The Liverpool hard man will be the key in this game to protect a flimsy Argentine back line
2:00 - And Messi is already off and running as his Obasi. Both teams seem to be foregoing defense.
TWEEEEEEEET and its off.
OHHHH that’s exciting. The game ball is on a little pedestal outside the tunnel that the referee picks up as the teams walk out. Very ceremonious. As the national anthems are being played its time for a ceremony here at TSG headquarters. The making of a fresh fruit smoothy. BRB
Argentina look to be going 4-3-3 and why not! Nigeria are also fielding a pretty attacking line up going 4-3-3 as well or possibly a 4 -1 -2 – 3. I predict lots of goals…Hopefully i am right!
So I thought that Kanu was named captain this past monday? Guess maybe in spirit as he is on the bench
Argentina – Romero; Gutierrez, Demichelis, Samuel, Heinze; Mascherano, Veron, Di Maria; Messi, Higuain, Tevez.
Nigeria – Enyeama; Odiah, Shittu, Yobo, Taiwo; Kaita; Etuhu, Haruna; Ogbuke Obasi, Yakubu, Obinna.
These are the favorites to go through in Group B though South Korea’s earlier will suggest otherwise.
How will Nigeria be able to stop the attacking force that is Argentina and will Nigeria, possessing good forwards themselves be able to expose the weak back line of Argentina?