photo by Joe Toth/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
For U.S. national team fans, the second day of the World Cup was one to remember.
The United States fell behind early to England in the Group C opener, allowing Steven Gerrard to score from close range after Emile Heskey found him wide open in the 4th minute. Unfortunately for England, goalkeeper Robert Green committed the gaffe heard 'round the world when he fumbled a Clint Dempsey shot into his own net.
The Americans maintained the 1-1 score with an improved and physical defensive performance. Jay DeMerit and Oguchi Onyewu helped shutdown and frustrate Wayne Rooney, while Michael Bradley and Ricardo Clark caused trouble for Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. Tim Howard also came up big for the Americans, recording six saves en route to being named Man of the Match.
Here are highlights from the match as well as from the rest of Saturday's matches:
South Korea beats Greece in Group B opener, 2-0
In the early match of the day, South Korea defeated Greece, 2-0, to grab first place in Group B.
Goals from Lee Jung-Soo and Park Ji-Sung paved the way for South Korea, with the former's goal coming in the seventh minute of the match. Jung-Soo netted from close range when a free kick delivered by Ki Sung-Yueng got past a pair of Greek defenders and found him open at the back post.
Ji-Sung netted in the second half, taking advantage of a misplaced pass by Vassilis Torosidis before dashing towards goal and scoring with a finesse shot past 'keeper Alexandros Tzorvas.
The two goals surrendered summed up Greece's day. The 2004 European champions struggled with the pace of South Korea, and looked out of sorts on offense. It wasn't until the final 15 minutes that it appeared that Greece had a sense of urgency, but by then it was too late to grab a result.
Heinze header sees Argentina top Nigeria, 1-0
After South Korea beat Greece in the Group B opener, Diego Maradona helped Argentina keep pace with the Tigers of Asia by leading it to a 1-0 victory in his World Cup coaching debut.
Gabriel Heinze accounted for the lone goal of the game, scoring off an impressive diving header in the sixth minute. The Argentine defender took advantage of some lax marking and place the ball in the top corner.
Despite unleashing 20 shots and maintaining much of the possession, Argentina had to sweat out its victory. Fine goalkeeping by Vincent Enyeama, who stopped a good amount of great Messi shots, kept the Nigerians in the game, and almost allowed them to tie in the waning moments of the the match.
Here are the match highlights:
What do you think of Saturday's games? Do you see England or the United States claiming Group C? Happy to see Messi, Maradona and Argentina brush off their well-documented struggles? Think South Korea or Nigeria (or both) will get out of Group B? Worried by Greece's showing?
Share your thoughts below.