23.6.10

world cup 2010 – day 12: uruguay, mexico and south korea follows argentina, hosts, france, nigeria, greece out

The day started with matches to conclude Group A, with Mexico playing against Uruguay in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, and France taking on hosts South Africa in the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein. France were already in a precarious position after collecting only 1 point from their previous 2 matches. This is on top of the crisis that they were in. As a result, 6 players from the Mexico match were absent from the starting 11, including captain Patrice Evra. South Africa meanwhile needed to win, to keep their hopes alive, and at the same time Uruguay will beat Mexico. And win they did. 60833167 The Bafana Bafana were on top of the French throughout. Bongani Khumalo got the first in the 20th minute, while Kathlego Mphela scored the second in the 37th minute. Yoann Gourcuff was sent off in the 25th minute for an elbow MacBeth Sibaya. Florent Malouda scored the only goal for France in the game, and the tournament, for the score to remain 2-1 until the end. A sad, but proud ending for South Africa Applause, as they bow out of the tournament, becoming the only host nation failing to reach the second round. As for Les Blues, the end is just beginning. Loser

1254687_full-lndIn the other match, a tight contest was decided by a Luis Suarez header in the 43rd minute, off Edinson Cavani’s cross from the right. Both teams qualify to the second round however, Uruguay as group winners, thus likely to avoid Argentina, Mexico finish second above South Africa, courtesy of their much superior goal difference.

Later that day, it was Group B’s turn to close their accounts. Argentina completed their group campaign in the Peter Mokaba Stadium by beating Greece, in turn winning all their group matches. Although Diego Maradona expectedly brought in many changes to the team, up to seven changes from their previous match, they were still no match for the Greeks as they were dominating the game from the start. The Greeks put up a brave fight, not until the 77th minute, when Martin Demichelis smashed in the ball from a goalmouth melee. Veteran Martin Palermo added the second in 89th, thus confirming Argentina’s status as firm favourites to reach this year’s pinnacle. Not worthy

nigeria-southkorea-584 South Korea met Nigeria in the Durban Stadium, both teams needing to win, under different circumstances, to ensure their spot in the second round. The gripping encounter ended in a draw, with Nigeria slightly bossing the match. Nigeria took the lead in the 12th minute through Kalu Uche, during which they were in the ascendancy. They failed to find the second goal however, and South Korea scored in their first sniff at goal through Lee Jung-Soo in the 38th minute. Park Chu-Young then added the second four minutes after the break, but Everton striker Yakubu Ayegbeni scored from a penalty in the 69th minute, after Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi was felled in the area. The draw meant Argentina qualified as group winner, with a-hundred percent record, while the Korea Republic followed in second. Nigeria meanwhile was the third African nation, out of six to bow out of the tournament so far. Thinking

June 22
Group A
FRA 1 RSA 2
URU 1 MEX 0

Group B
ARG 2 GRE 0
NGA 2 KOR 2

Group A Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 1

Group B Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 1

*Teams in bold qualifies for the next round

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