Messi fires blanks but Argentina beat Nigeria comfortably

Argentina fans were not let down as their team put up a superb performance in their opening game against Nigeria. The score line in the end only read 1-0, but that’s only because Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyema had an outstanding match and kept the ball out of the net.

Players from both sides looked extremely tense as they walked on to the field. Nigeria started slowly and that’s probably the biggest reason why the conceded a goal very early in the match.

Gabriel Heinze was left completely unmarked during a corner kick and had the time to position himself and head the ball powerfully into the goal. The goal proved to be the tension breaker as the Argentina players along with coach Diego Maradona celebrated with relief.

Tevez had an outstanding game making some brilliant passes to create chances for Messi and proved that he must be in the starting lineup. However, it was Lionel Messi who showed why he has so much expectations resting on his shoulders. He was brilliant, beating the Nigerian defense consistently and coming ever so close to scoring.

Vincent Enyema pulled off save after save to prevent Messi from scoring and kept the score to 1-0 at halftime. The Nigerians gathered in a huddle and Vincent Enyema seemed to be leading the team in prayer.
His prayers seemed to be working during the second half, when the Nigerians started to play a more attacking brand of football and exposed chinks in the Argentinean defense. Martin Demichelis did not look comfortable in defense and both Gutierrez and Heinze kept floundering and giving room for the Nigerian team to keep their hopes alive.

In the end, the Nigerians were not able to score and conceded a win to Argentina. Coach Diego Maradona said that “This was an important step we took today (but) we have to improve a lot of things to get to the seventh match (the final)”

There was a little controversy after the game was finished as the Nigerian coach, Lars Lagerback walked off the pitch without shaking Maradona’s hand. Lagerback was apparently unhappy at Maradona’s remarks that Nigeria would engage in rough play against Argentina. Rumors suggest that Maradona had even requested FIFA to ensure that there would be fair play during the match.

When reporters asked him about it, Lagerback seemed visibly upset and said “What Maradona has said does not matter.…I have learned that it is not usually true what they say in the media and it is always like this before the big matches…..I only know him as a player and he is entitled to his opinion on whatever issue”
Argentina now face South Korea on June 17th and are the clear favourites again.

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