Striker Gonzalo Higuain was in impressive form Thursday morning as he netted a hat-trick against the South Korean national soccer team. The 4-1 win has almost guaranteed the Argentinians advancement in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Messi was also very involved in the game after not providing much in terms of attack in the first game of the tournament. The Albiceleste have now eared the full six points from, their two victories so far. Coach Diego Maradona has praised the effort of his team so far this season.
“I have to congratulate the players … everything they did worked out well,” Maradona said. “I am very happy.”
Maradonna was part of the last Argentinian team that won the country’s second World Cup tournament back in 1986.
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The Argentinian fans drowned out the vuvuzelas in the 17th minute when Park Chu-young stepped in the way of a Messi free kick and deflected it into his own goal. Soon after, Higuain began his barrage of the South Korean goal.
In the 33rd minute Higuain netted the second goal for Argentina with a header low to the near post. Maxi Rodriguez crossed the ball in to Nicolas Burdisso who found Higuain at the back post.
The Korean goal came in the 45th minute between Higuain’s first and second scores. Lee Chung-yong was in the right place at the right time when the Argentine defense committed a costly mistake to pull the Koreans within a goal.
The second goal by Higuain was set up by a streaking Messi, who made an incredible run down the left side of the midfield with the ball. His shot was denied twice, but the second squirted through arms of Jung Sung-Ryong where Higuain was waiting unmarked.
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The Argentine bench did not have to wait long for another celebration, as Messi was the genesis of the offense once again. Sergio Aguero corralled a Messi pass, crossed it to Higuain, who knocked it into the back of the Korean net to put the game out of reach.
“I’m very happy to score the goals, but we have to think of the team as a whole,” said Higuain.
Soccer sportsbooks have set the Argentinians among the favorite teams to win the World Cup at 9/2. The South Korean team is not totally eliminated from the competition, and soccer odddsmakers have set their chances of winning the tournament at 150/1.