World Cup: South Korea vs. Argentina (Match Day Commentary)

World Cup: South Korea vs. Argentina (Match Day Commentary)

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World Cup: South Korea vs. Argentina (Match Day Commentary)

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The favorites of Group B, South Korea and Argentina will square off at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein (7:30am EDT, ESPN/ESPN3.com) A victory would put one of these nations in the driver seat to earn that top spot in Group B.

South Korea was one of the true revelations of the tournament early in their free flowing victory over Greece. Led by the entertaining soccer of Park Ji-Sung, the Koreans now look poised to play a vital role in who will advance from the group. For the Group favorites Argentina, their victory over Nigeria was not an instant classic, but rather an efficient display by Maradona's men. With fellow favorites Brazil and Spain looking poor in their opening match, a convincing victory here would catapult Argentina to one of the tournament favorites.

This is Adam Serrano and I'll be providing commentary throughout the match. As always please share your thoughts, feelings and analysis in the comments section below. Enjoy the match!

FINAL – The Argentines with a fantastic performance in a convincing victory against the South Koreans. Gonzalo Higuain will get all the headlines with his three goal day, but it was Argentina's midfield maestro Lionel Messi who set up the attacker on each of his goals. The biggest question going into the tournament was if Messi could duplicate his spectacular club form for his national side and if this result is any indication, the top sides in the World are going to have some trouble stopping Messi. However, there are serious question marks as the defense made a number of errors that nearly let the Koreans back into the match. 

The result will flatter the Argentines as South Korea was noble in defeat as they tried to stand toe to toe with the South Americans. South Korea will need a victory against Nigeria to advance for the second round. That's all for me. Check back later today as I give the commentary for Mexico's vital match against France.

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92nd Minute – Aguero nearly puts it in the back post, but the whistle is blown, 4-1 for Argentina. 

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91st Minute – Park Ji-Sung gets a chance on goal, but Romero gets the save. Not a great day from the Manchester United midfielder. 

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90th Minute – 2 Minutes of stoppage time. 

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88th Minute – DeMichellis nearly makes another mistake that leads to a South Korean chance on goal. YIKES. 

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88th Minute – Incredibly interesting story that South Korea's manager Huh Jung-Moo was responsible for marking Maradona at Mexico '86. Looks like Diego wins once again. 

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85th Minute – South Korea needs to limit th damage here. They tried to do the noble thing and play with the Argentine side, but will now need to make sure that they do not give up anymore or risk losing a spot in the Round of 16.

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82nd Minute – ARGENTINA SUB: HIGUAIN gives way for Mario Bolatti. The Hat trick hero gets the curtain call and the love from the Argentine fans. 

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81st Minute – Aguero with a great pass to the back post and th Real Madrid striker heads it in for his third goal. The forward is now the top scorer of the tournament. 

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80th Minute – ARGENTINA GOAL!! HIGUAIN WITH THE HAT TRICK!!!!

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77th Minute – Higuain gets the goal, but Messi was responsible for the bild-up. A fantastic shot by Messi is saved, but Messi gets his own rebound that dribbles through the goal mouth and Higuain has the easy tap in. It's 3-1 Argentina now.

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76th Minute – ARGENTINA GOAL!!!!!! HIGUAIN!!! 

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75th Minute – ARGENTINA SUB: Aguero in for Tevez

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75th Minute – YELLOW FOR HEINZE for attempting to handle the ball. Poor Yellow. 

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74th Minute – Argentina takes it back on the counter. Messi does a fantastic job to keep the ball in play. Argentina set up in th Korean end, but lose possession.

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72nd Minute – I believe with this result, we may firmly be able to declare that the days of one continent dominating over the top nations of another are over (Oceania not withstanding). South Korea and Asia as a whole as looked just as impressive in their matches against UEFA, CAF and South America 

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69th Minute – Higuain with a first time shot fired at Sung-Ryong, but once again the goal keeper is undaunted by the shot.

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65th Minute – Dangerous Free kick by Messi, but Sung-Ryong gets to it.

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63rd Minute – Excellent combination play by South Korea, but the last pass eludes them and goes out for a goal kick. 

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62nd Minute – South Korea building more and more confidence as the game wears on. The defense putting a clinic battling with the talented Argentine attack. 

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57th Minute- YEOM GOES JUST WIDE!! WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY. Wastefulness by the Koreans. It looked like a moment of indecision forced him to make a poor choice and push the ball wide. 

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56th Minute – The Koreans earn a corner, but a foul allows the Argentines to take possession back. 

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55th Minute – Dangerous free kick for Korea set up by a foul by Mascherano who earns a yellow on the play.

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54th Minute – Guiterrez earns a YELLOW and will be out for the next match. Not good for Maradona who will be without his starting right back, a major position of question for Argentina. 

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54th Minute – Another BIG save by Sung-Ryong. Tevez with a cut back that leads to a great shot, but the Korean was up to the task. 

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52nd Minute – WHAT A SAVE! JUNG SUNG-RYONG with a ONE handed save on Higuain. Truly a sign of things to come. The keeper will have to be on if the Koreans are to get a result here. 

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50th Minute – The Argentines are continuing to ask questions of the Korean defense as they search for the Korean goal. The longer they are unable to extend lead, the more South Korea will feel emboldened to attempt to pull another one back. 

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48th Minute – Gotta love the slo-mo videos of Diego Maradona kissing his rosary. I have to say, I need to pick up one of those suits. Stylish.  

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46th Minute – Good defending by the South Koreans. Closing in on Messi and forcing him to make a poor shot. Corner for Argentina. 

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45th Minute – And We're Back! One Sub for South Korea as Ki Sung-Yueng will give way for the veteran Kim Nam-Il

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HALFTIME – Expect the Reds to look to attack the Argentines from the wide positions. Only down one, I expect South Korea to go right at the weakest part of the Argentine defense, the flank positions. Here in Koreatown in Los Angeles, the atmosphere is one filled with anticipation. The fans here are expecting their nation to go for that result. 

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HALFTIME – It looked certain that Argentina would head into the second half with complete control, but a mental lapse leaves South Korea only one goal away from tying this match. Credit to the Koreans for maintaining their composure late and continuing to battle late. The question that I pose to you is does South Korea sit back now and try to maintain this result so they can keep the positive goal differential or do they throw the caution into the wind and try to get a point from a team that dominated them all game?

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HALFTIME – Shades of Clint Dempsey's steal of Sergio Ramos in the Confed cup last year. Demichelis just gets caught napping as Lee Chong-Young picks his pocket and fires it into the back of the net. 2-1 draw at the half. 

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HALF TIME – And the Whistle blows

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45th Minute – SOUTH KOREA GOAL!!!!! LEE CHUNG-YONG!!!!!!!!

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44th Minute – Tevez back to Messi. Messi with an audacious chip that goes just wide. Fantastic play by Messi.

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42nd Minute – Fantastic play by Messi and Tevez. Great work up the field as Messi releases Tevez, but the City attacker coughs up the ball to the Koreans. 

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40th Minute – FANTASTIC SAVE BY SUNG-RYONG on a powerful strike by DiMaria. The keeper put himself into danger there, but was able to prevent Argentina from stretching their lead to 3. 

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39th Minute – Argentina looking very impressive offensively right now. This match will be closely watched by France/Mexico in their match later this afternoon. Neither team wants to take on this offensive juggernaut in the second round. 

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36th Minute – Horrible luck for the Koreans right now, but the lead is very much deserved for Maradona's men. 

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34th Minute – Fantastic flick on by the Argentine midfield to Higuain who does a fantastic job in staying onside and heading it past a slow Sung-Ryong. The Goalkeeper had to do better there to get to that shot. ARGENTINA 2 South Korea 0

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33rd Minute – ARGENTINA GOAL!! HIGUAIN!!

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32nd Minute – South Korea make a costly turnover in their zone. Argentina is just putting INTENSE pressure on the Koreans right now. The team that looked so impressive last week seemingly can't get out of their zone right now.  Free kick Argentina. 

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28th Minute – WOW! What a shot by Tevez. Messi fakes the shot and plays it back to Tevez who fires an absolute screamer. The laser of a shot goes just over the bar. Fantastic effort by the Manchester City star.

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27th Minute – Great free kick spot for Argentina. Who will take it?

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26th Minute – No real emotion right now from South Korea who are not showing much right now. Argentina is making a number of dangerous runs into the Korean defense. Looks like Maradona understands that a knock out blow is possible. 

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24th Minute – ARGENTINA SUB: NICOLAS BURDIOSSO FOR WALTER SAMUEL. Maradona realizes that Samuel should be saved for the later stages and the Inter Milan defender comes off. 

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21st Minute – Walter Samuel may have picked up a hamstring injury right there. He's back on the field now, but the sub was up. Keep an eye on the Inter Milan man.

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18th Minute - Absolute disaster for South Korea as the ball goes off the shin of the South Korean striker. Very disappointing for South Korea who now must respond. 

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16th Minute – ARGENTINA GOAL!!!!!!!!!! AUTO-GOL! OWN GOAL! PARK CHU-YOUNG

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15th Minute – Risky foul by the Koreans. Free kick given in a dangerous spot to the left of goal.

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12th Minute – So far little being created by either team. Argentina dominating possession but not creating any real chances. If you're following along, let me hear from you. Tell me where you're from and who you're supporting.

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10th Minute – YELLOW CARD: YEOM KI-HUN. Sloppy challenge by the Korean. Very poor decision making right there.

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5th Minute – The Koreans with little to no touch of the ball so far. Argentina is just spraying the ball across the field playing a quick game of keep away from the Reds.

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3rd Minute – South Korea bunkering in early as Argentina looks to control possession and pepper their net with chances. The Reds will need to withstand this early storm and maintain their shape if they are going to challenge Argentina. 

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1st Minute – And We're Off!

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PRE-GAME: Anthems playing and I'm coming to you live from Koreatown in Los Angeles where the atmosphere is just electric for the Reds. After an impressive performance against Greece, A good showing against Greece will seriously legitimize their chances to go on a serious run.

The match will depend on the play of Javier Mascherano to shut down the Korean attack and maintain the Argentine shape in this match. For Korea, Park Ji-Sung will need to help generate the type of offense that we saw against Greece.

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PRE-GAME: Here are the line ups:

SOUTH KOREA:

—————————–Chu-Young—————

——————————-Ki-Hun————————

—-Ji Sung———-Jung-Woo–Sung-Yueng——-Chung-Yong

—–Young-Pyo—–Jung-Soo—Yong-Hyung——–Beon-Seok—–

—————————–Sung-Ryong———————


ARGENTINA: 

—–Tevez———-Higuain———Messi——

–Di Maria—–Rodriguez—Mascherano—Gutierrez–

—–Heinze——–Samuel——–Demichelis—–

———————-Romero———————

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