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Posted by Sebastian Garcia on 06/17/2010


What an offensive performance from the whole team!

That's the Gonzalo HIGUAIN we all want to see. He started off really cold but when he caught on fire, he jumped all the way to the top of the scoring charts in this World Cup.

If he is going to stay like this in front of goal, then I'll have no problems if Diego MILITO doesn't start every match, even though you know I'd still pick him and as I said regarding Gabriel HEINZE v. Nigeria, one performance, good or bad, doesn't change all my convictions.

"Don't expect a walk in the PARK", I said before the match and inside the first 20 minutes, we were already up 1-0 courtesy of an own goal by a player called: PARK (Chu Young) and the final result was 4-1. So...what do I know about this game? I wonder!

"MILITO is the present. HIGUAIN is the future", was another of my remarks. Well...I guess I was right anyway. I was writing before the match took place so I guess the future has arrived.

I'm taking this on a light note and I don't care if you rub it on my nose right now because I'm thrilled we won and I'm delighted we are almost guaranteed of a place in the eight-finals and we could even clinch it today (if Nigeria and Greece draw).

We opened the scoring again rather early and again through a set-piece play. We were helped by PARK Chu Young, yes, but it was the first ever own-goal we were benefited from in the history of the World Cup (fact courtesy of 2010MisterChip -who you should all follow on Twitter-).

It was relieving, but we were already seeing how Argentina were taking control of the game and South Korea were sitting back and hoping for the best. They weren't even trying to counter-attack us during those first moments. Whenever they won the ball back, they were just kicking up and as far as they could.

Right after that we lost SAMUEL for the entire match. Nicolás BURDISSO came on to replace him and he did a great job. Especially when he flicked that ball into the area and towards an unmarked and completely onside Gonzalo HIGUAIN. A good header and 2-0. It looked like the party was just starting.

I was talking to some friends before the tournament started and we were all in agreement (for a change!) when saying we were worried about our defence. I told them..."It'll be a matter of having to concede four goals in a game because we have the potential to score at least three goals a game".

Today, with Walter SAMUEL getting injured, my worries and that of my friends increased and they reached the highest point when Martín DEMICHELIS gave South Korea the chance to score and to be back in the game for a while.

Before that, even one minute before that, we were doing whatever we wanted. I want to watch it again and count how many passes there were before Lionel MESSI tried to chip it over the keeper only to send it wide to the right.

I mean had 'CAMBIASSO v. Serbia & Montenegro' written all over it! One or two minutes later, from a sure 3-0 lead for Argentina, we went to a 2-1 up and half-time.

Conceding without even being under real pressure.

My heart almost stopped when KIHUN fired a shot that hit ROMERO's side-netting on 58 minutes. It could have been 2-2 and it would have been the most unfair result in the history of the World Cup since 1930!

We couldn't find our feet in the second half and then we were brilliant again.

It took a while, but the third goal. The clincher. Arrived after a great move from our speed demons up front.

Kun AGÜERO came on for the immense Carlos TEVEZ and made an immediate impact in the game. His chemistry with MESSI is undeniable and it showed early on after the Atletico de Madrid forward changed the direction of that attacking move and unleashed MESSI on the left. The Flea, still looking for his first goal of the tournament was denied by the goalkeeper and then by the post, but Gonzalo HIGUAIN, with the true nose of a striker, was there to capture the rebound and make it 3-0.

'Game over and stop scoring now' were the shouts of many superstitious who wanted the match to end 3-1 like when we beat South Korea in 1986.

They were denied, because the team had other plans. Another great collective action upfront. Pipita gave it to MESSI, MESSI chipped it over a couple of defenders to find AGÜERO and Kun crossed it for Pipita to get his hat-trick.

Mission accomplished. Great offensive performance and a lot to work on in defence.

Vamos Argentina!


Posted by sam on 06/17/2010

Congrats Seba! "YOU" deserve this type of win because of your great work here in ESPN to entertain and educate us about this wonderful game!

I was sure that the "Sleeping Giants" were going to wake up in this second round to show all of us why we were waiting 4 years to party! Although I root for Japan and Chile, I am a true admirer of the Argentinian style of play. (and of their Bife Chorizo!)

As an asian, I feel sorry for my fellow Korean friends, but unfortunatelly for them (and eventually all of us!), Argentina has players from Outer Space. Objectively speaking, and despite all the heroic efforts shown by all the PARKs, LEEs and KIMs, the end result was more than fair.

I enjoyed the spectacle and hope to see more of it in the coming days. Thank you Higuain/Messi & Co. for a great presentation of what football is all about!

My best regards to all the fans of this amazing blog site! Salud!!

Posted by Bradly on 06/17/2010

Fantastic result, and what class the Argentine forwards and midfielders showed! They were definitely on another plain of existance. Demichelis showed why he doesn't have a regular place with Bayern. I'd be much happier Burdisso partnered with Samuel, if he's fit. Great match, and should set the table for the next round.

Posted by metcalf on 06/17/2010

Just another example where you get punished by playing ultra defensive futbol.
Denmark first and now Korea where they beat themselves with own goal.
Defensive futbol is boring and I'm glad Argentina won big.

Posted by Rarehero on 06/17/2010

Maybe one or two goals too much but on the other hand worth a faultless victory without a goal against. Great display especially in the second half. Germany is looking forward for a quarter final with Argentina and a match the audience around the world won't forget in ages.

Posted by Steve on 06/17/2010

Congrats! Korea were poor in defending, but Messi is just world-class. I have to give Maradona credit as well when he inserted Aguero to get the momentum back....

Posted by KJI on 06/18/2010

Ref. was clearly against Korean team. Why do Fifa always try to purge my country out of WC. We are clearly a better side. The second goal is OFFSITE.....!!!!!

Posted by Harvinchal on 06/18/2010

Sorry mate none of the goals were offside. The replay clearly showed that he was level. Level is not offside.

You keeper is to be blame for letting in such a soft headed ball at the near post. That should have been saved.

Again the goal was no where near offside.

Posted by Bradly on 06/18/2010

KJI, this is ridiculous. Everytime a Korean team loses, its always someone else's fault, or your team was too tired (4-2 Zambia) or whatever. The Swiss goal was completely legitament in 2006. The second goal was clearly onside, sorry to dissappoint. Why can't you just say "Well, we tried our best, but we didn't get the result. Great play by Lee Chung-Yong?"

I lived in Korea during the 2006 cup and the Winter Olympics and I was frankly appalled by the lack of sportsmanship and fair play amongst the Korean public. I have nothing against the athletes, but this has been a pattern since the Roy Jones Jr. incident in 1988.

The second round will be interesting, as I see Argentina taking on Uruguay in a rematch from the qualifiers. That should be a passionate match! I think Mexico has enough to win their group.

Posted by osaru on 06/18/2010

gonzalo higuain the best in the world. Go Argentina u are the best.

Posted by abubakar umar on 06/18/2010

Am waiting for the day the Argentines and the Germans meet in the final.i think they are the best team in this world cup.they have shown comatiblity and swiftness in terms of moving the ball toward thier oponents.

Posted by Masum on 06/18/2010

top class top performance from Higuian. Carry on.

Posted by Steve on 06/18/2010

Sigh, I congratulated Argentina... =/

The offside debate is based on Mexico's goal being disallowed against South Africa.. the Korean press believes the same rule should have been applied for Higuain's 2nd goal.

Either way, Korea lost and Argentina were fantastic to watch (for neutrals.. painful for Koreans like me). Korea were poor in defending, and Argentina fully exploited our weakness. Hats off to Maradona as well.. although he hasn't been tested, he is showing that he can coach in World Cup (he certainly outfoxed the Korean coach in tactic).

Posted by Sebastian Garcia on 06/18/2010

My opinion on whether it was offside or not.

Argentina's second goal (header from HIGUAIN) is not offside. When BURDISSO flicks the ball towards HIGUAIN, the Real Madrid striker was on the same line with the last Korean defender.

Now when it comes to HIGUAIN's second goal (Argentina's third), he was offside.

Not because he had one defender or one keeper or none. That's irrelevant. His offside position was given because he was beyond the line of the ball when MESSI hit it towards the post. HIGUAIN then participated on the play and touched the ball to score and it should have been disallowed. Had he not touch the ball or tried to participate, no offside position should have been called.

All of these things said, I still think with or without that referee, Argentina should have won that match and deservedly did so.

Posted by aud uk argy fan on 06/19/2010

higuain was not ofside wen messi hit the ball both the keeper and the advancing korean touched it on its way thru PRESTO NOT OF SIDE if you dont know the rules keep ur OPINIONS cough to yourselfs the ball was touched it was notr messi to higuain END OF STORY

Posted by Sebastian Garcia on 06/19/2010

Despite your attacks and bad manners, I decided to go ahead and post your comment anyway.

More than anything because you are wrong, even when you accuse me of being wrong.

It really doesn't matter whether the ball took a deflection on the goalkeeper (which never happened anyway, but lets pretend it did). HIGUAIN's position should be judge from the moment the ball left MESSI's foot. Even with a deflection, the player who sent the ball forward was from the attacking team and HIGUAIN took advantage of his original offside position.

Before accusing someone of not knowing the rules, I would suggest you read them first.

Posted by SBN on 06/19/2010

Any country as irrationally passionate fans like KJI. Have pity on him, and ignore him.

As for the Korean public, yes, a few of the Korean press were lamenting the off-side call, but then Argentinian press was posting pictures of the North Korean team kicking in practice and saying South Koreans were foulers even though they had no yellows cards in their first game. It's just that the World Cup, high in passions, sadly brings out underlying racist sentiments, especialy tabloids that seek maximun attention.

The Argentinians had an dominant and impressive offense, probably equal to none, certainly not the Koreans. Their defense did look a bit shaky the few time Koreans managed to attack, but that was more than compensated by the even more ineffectual defense of the Koreans (the first goal was an own-goal, the second an error by the Korean defender failing to rush out for the offside trap, the third and fourth defenders unable to either mark Messi or defend space).

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Sebastian Garcia was born just a few blocks from the place where a certain Diego Armando Maradona first kicked a football. Regretfully, Sebastian had to make do with punching some keys and writing about football. He worked for Clarin newspaper and ESPN in Buenos Aires before taking part in Press Operations in several major sporting events such as the Beijing Olympics, when Argentina won gold at the Birds Nest.

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