The way to the World Cup final is definitely through Lionel Messi. At just 1.7m tall, he holds the key to his coach’s dream to run stark naked through the streets of Buenos Aires. Of course many people won’t want to see that happen. What they want to see though is Argentina firing all cylinders tonight.
How Argentina managed to score only one goal in their previous match against Nigera remains a mystery. Vincent Enyaema leaped around his goal like a snow leopard and with some Herculean effort, kept Messi and Co at bay. Maradona will be hoping that the South Korean keeper will not display similar heroics.
Veron will not start tonight’s game. He pulled up injured in the previous match and was replaced by Maxi Rodrigues. Without Veron, Argentina will lose a veteran in the heart of midfield. But with a squad boasting six strikers and Messi, his absence will not be sorely felt.
Messi will again be the orchestrator. Mascherano will carry the piano. And Tevez and Higuain will ensure the scores translate into sweet melody.
A win will seal Argentina’s passage to the knockout stages. Failure is not an option.
So Any Chance For South Korea?
Goodness, no. Do not be deceived by their victory over Greece. The Greeks were so poor, it made South Korea look like world beaters. The Koreans play an adventurous game of football and against the Argentines, this will be suicidal.
The Koreans don’t really have a choice. They either sit back and be mesmerised by Messi or push forward and throw caution to the wind. They don’t benefit either way. For all their enterprise, the Koreans had to rely on a set piece and a woeful pass from the Greeks to seal their earlier win.
The Argentines are too good and they won’t be in as much of a charitable mood as Greece. Not with a second round place at stake anyway.
South Korea will depend heavily on their skipper Park Ji Sung and their Celtic midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng to be the launchpad for counter attacks. I applaud the Asian work ethnic but the South American flair will triumph.
Argentina 3 – South Korea 0
It will take about six Koreans to take Messi out of the scoring equation. The remaining gaps will be exploited by the likes of Higuain, Tevez, Di Maria and Maxi. This is the frightening proposition installed for the South Koreans. It is about time somebody set this snoozefest of a World Cup alight. And I got a gut feel that Maradona’s team harbours a burning desire to do so. Messi will score and set up another. Tevez will sum up a miserable night for the Koreans.