Quiz time!

Think you're smarter than your friends? Prove it by tackling Sport24's almost impossible yet highly addictive quiz!

Heinze secures Argentina win

2010-06-12 18:27

Johannesburg - Argentina opened its World Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Nigeria on Saturday, clinging nervously to an early goal from Gabriel Heinze after failing to convert a number of clear opportunities.

Heinze scored with a diving header in the sixth minute after taking advantage of slack marking to power in a header from 12m from Juan Sebastian Veron's corner.

The Nigerians boasted a clear height advantage, but struggled for much of the match to contain diminutive Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who tormented them with his piercing movement and almost-magnetic ball control.

Striker Gonzalo Higuain failed to convert three good chances, including what seemed a certain goal in the fourth minute. Messi, too, came agonizingly close on at least four occasions, forcing acrobatic saves from Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

The Argentines almost paid for their squandered chances, as the powerful Nigerians grew in confidence in the second half.

Taye Taiwo came close to an equalizer with a low effort that flew just past Sergio Romero's left post, and substitute Kalu Uche then scooped a weak shot over the crossbar from inside the box with only eight minutes left.

Argentina coach Diego Maradona prowled around the technical area throughout the match, with hands clasped behind his back.

For the first time as Argentina coach, the former captain wore a suit - a stark contrast to the image of him hurling himself, track-suited, into a puddle on the field when Argentina all but secured qualification with a last-gasp win over Peru last year.


Argentina: Sergio Romero, Martin Demichelis, Gabriel Ivan Heinze, Walter Samuel, Angel Di Maria (Nicholas Burdisso, 85), Jonas Gutierrez, Javier Mascherano, Juan Sebastian Veron (Maxi Rodriguez, 74), Gonzalo Higuain (Diego Milito, 79), Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez.

Nigeria: Vincent Enyeama, Chidi Odiah, Daniel Olusola Shittu, Taye Taiwo (Kalu Uche, 75), Joseph Yobo, Dickson Etuhu, Lukman Haruna, Sani Kaita, Chinedu Obasi (Peter Odemwingie, 60), Victor Obinna (Obafemi Martins, 52), Ayegbeni Yakubu.

Read more on: argentina nigeria

More In This Category

Thierry Henry would never consider playing for France again even if new coach and former teammate Laurent Blanc asked him to.
An emotional Diego Maradona says he was betrayed as Argentina coach by national team director Carlos Bilardo.
Carlos Alberto Parreira has left South Africa at the end of his contract with Bafana Bafana, headed for his home in Rio de Janeiro.
Ghana defender John Mensah has refuted claims of a spat with the Ghana Football Association over unpaid Soccer World Cup bonuses.
Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk