Argentina 4 South Korea 1
Gonzalo Higuain’s hat trick propelled Argentina to a 4-1 victory over South Korea, who fell to 1-0-1 in group play. Argentina scored the first goal of the game in the 17th minute when Lionel Messi deflected a free kick off Park Chu-young and into the South Korean net; Park was issued the own goal. Higuain added his goals in the 33rd, 76th, and 80th minutes.
Higuain, now the World Cup’s leading scorer, became the first player to record a hat trick in a World Cup game since Portugal’s Pauleta did it against Poland in 2002.
Lionel Messi didn’t score a goal in this game, but he touched the ball 166 times and completed 88.8% of his passes.
Lee Chung-Yong scored the lone goal of the match for South Korea in the 45th minute. Yeom Ki-hun nearly tied the game in the 58th minute, but his shot sailed just wide of the post.
Argentina, now 2-0-0 in group play, has not officially advanced to the Round of 16 yet.
Countries from South America are now 5-0-2 at this year’s World Cup.
Greece 2 Nigeria 1
Kalu Uche’s free kick goal in the 16th minute gave Nigeria a 1-0 lead over Greece, who had never scored a goal in the World Cup. Game over, right?
Not quite. Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita was issued a red card for kicking Vasilis Torosidis, leaving Nigeria to just ten players. Greece made Kaita pay for his misdeed in the 44th minute when Dimitrios Salpingdis deflected a shot off Lukman Haruna and into the Nigeria net.
Vasilis Torosidis capitalized on Vincent Enyeama’s goalkeeping blunder in the 71st minute to give Greece a 2-1 lead; the Greeks held on for their first ever victory in the World Cup.
Despite giving up the second goal of the match, Enyeama won his second consecutive man of the match award for his nine saves. It wasn’t enough, however, as the Nigerians fell to 0-0-2 in group play.
Mexico 2 France 0
Substitutes Javier Hernandez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco each scored in the second half to lift Mexico to a 2-0 win over France. With this win, Mexico needs at least a draw against Uruguay to reach the Round of 16 (the draw would also advance Uruguay past group play, thus eliminating France and South Africa from the World Cup).
Hernandez scored his goal in the 64th minute after outrunning a French defense that thought the play was offsides, and Blanco scored his goal in the 79th minute on a penalty kick.
For France to have a chance to advance, it would have to beat South Africa and hope that there is no draw between Mexico and Uruguay.