Argentina warming up

Argentina have all but secured their qualification into the knock-out stage of the World Cup after giving dark horses South Korea a 4-1 hammering in Johannesburg just now. An impressive hat-trick from Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain sealed the three points for Diego Maradona’s men, but it wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggested.

The Argentines looked to be cruising as the first half came to a close, after an own goal from Park Chu-Young and Higuain’s first looked set to leave them 2-0 up at the break. However Bayern Munich defender Martin Demichelis got caught in possession on the edge of his box by Lee Chung-Yong in injury time, who proceeded to pull one back for South Korea and keep the match alive.

After the break it looked as though the goal had given the South Koreans the confidence they needed to believe that they could grab a point, and they should have levelled after 58 minutes; Lee Chung-Yong broke into the box and laid on a great chance for the onrushing Yeom Ki-Hun, who could slap his shot past the near post and into the side-netting.

Argentina made them rue that miss 20 minutes later though, when Lionel Messi went on a foray by himself and saw his second shot slide off the post, straight into the path of Higuain, who tapped home form two yards out. Three minutes after ending the game he completed his hat-trick by finishing off a smart move involving Messi and Sergio Aguero ended with him headed home from six yards. So far they look the most accomplished of all the main challengers.

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