Greece Vs. Argentina Live Blog: World Cup Analysis and Results
Hi everyone and welcome to Bleacher Report's live coverage of Greece vs. Argentina in the final game of Group B.
Both teams still have something to play for. Argentina need a point to confirm a Round of 16 game against Group B runners up Mexico.
Greece, for their part, need to better South Korea's result to force their way into the next round.
21:22: Once again, I hope you enjoyed my blog a lot more than you enjoyed the football...it warmed up a bit in the last 10 minutes, but overall...it was far from a classic. South Korea join Argentina in the last 16, drawing 2-2 with Nigeria.
21:20: It's all over here, Argentina win the group and Greece are eliminated. Both teams ended with what they deserved, Argentina with a maximum nine points and Greece fail to qualify.
'92: In other news, Greece have their third shot on target...all straight at the 'keeper.
'91: Argentina are constantly feeding Messi the ball, he was instrumental in Argentina's second...he skipped past a raft of players and rifled a shot at the 'keeper. Palermo picked up the scraps to bang the goal.
'90: Would you believe it, Greece have registered their first shot on target in the game...the second followed shortly afterwards. What a joke.
'88: It's just a question of whether or not Argentina can add to their tally now...and they have!!! What a story...Palermo has scored for Maradona after the manager brought him in from the wilderness in qualifying. He hadn't played for Argentina in 10 years before Maradona called upon the forward. Incredible.
'87: Samaras is completely isolated up front, ball came up to him and there were five Argentina shirts within 10 yards of him with no support to be seen. What are they playing at?
'85: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...Messi burst to life there, absolutely awesome...weaved through the Greek defence like they weren't there before hammering the Jabulani against the left-hand post. Magical, deserved a goal.
'83: The other game has got a lot more interesting now, if Nigeria can grab a winner against South Korea they'd progress into the last 16...still can't believe this Greece team beat Nigeria.
'81: Keep ball by Argentina now, and Greece don't seem to care. They still seem to want to contain the South Americans. Crazy.
'78: Just before the goal went in Pastore came off the bench for Aguero...and Maradona is preparing to make his final substitution, Milito's coming off for Martin Palermo. The 36-year-old scored against Peru to send Argentina to the World Cup finals, lovely gesture by Maradona.
'77: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL...thank buddah for that!! Demichelis bangs it home from a corner, it was a bit scrappy, but who cares? It's all over for Greece...they've got exactly what they deserve.
'76: Maybe a bit of a lesson for other teams here, Messi has been closely followed all night with a man-marker and hasn't been able to influence the game. Argentina haven't looked incisive, but they do have a whole heap of reserves playing.
'74: Calamitous from Greece...first they try to spring on the counter and they stumble over the ball, then the 'keeper tries to hit a clearance and thumps it straight into his own player and it goes out for a corner.
If they do somehow manage to scrape through this group, they'll really not deserve it. Both Nigeria and South Korea are more deserving for my money.
'73: The other game might want to share the love on the goal front, four goals in that one and still 0-0 here. Are you still will me?
'71: Just as I write off the chances of Nigeria, they go and pull back an equaliser!! They'll need another one to put Greece through, but maybe Greece are better playing for a draw here?
'70: Snapshot from Bolatti drilled straight at the 'keeper who goes down in a heap...bit of time wasting there. It's their own time they're wasting, as they're going out. Don't they know the score in the other game? Or are they hoping Nigeria do them a favour?
Not exactly the most astute strategy.
'68: Greece going down here without a fight...absolutely no adventure going forward. It's like one of those "The Mummy" films, you know it should have some drama, you hope it'll have some half-decent action, but really, it just doesn't deliver.
'65: PENALTY!!! Come on ref, clear shirt pull there on Milito...any reason for some excitement. Referee doesn't give it though, free-kick the other way...apparently having your shirt pulled in the box is now an offence. He should be careful not to have it pulled again, he might pick up a booking.
'63: Maxi Rodriguez off, Angel Di Maria on. Hopefully the Benfica star can improve on his previous performances and add some divine intervention from the bench. See what I did there?
'62: Then again, maybe they wouldn't be here if it wasn't for their defensive play...so maybe that's a bit harsh. Think North Korea will win a lot more admirers for their desire to "go for it," despite being hammered 7-0 the other night. What are Greece playing for?
'60: Got to say, playing so defensively is hard to justify when you crash out of the group...can hardly say it's a necessary evil when you go out in the first round. Greece are ranked 13th in the world, they should be at least making the knock-out stages. Dire stuff in all honesty.
'58: The highlights aren't going to be very long for this game, that's for sure.
'57: As it stands, Greece need to win by a couple of goals...don't see it happening somehow. Prove me wrong!
'53: Double change for Greece, last throw of the dice here...Katsouranis can't continue and Torosidis has limped off as well. Is this a sign that things are about to go very wrong for the Greeks? Ninis and Patsatzoglou are on...will they now become unstuck? (Admit it, that was good)
'52: Worse news for Greece, South Korea have taken the lead against Nigeria...Greece need a goal. This might get interesting.
'51: Greece have a problem here, one of their players looked to have picked up a muscle injury and they're down to 10 men for the time being...can Argentina make this count?
'49: Let's hope Argentina can get a goal as soon as possible...Greece have started to press forward a little bit more this half, a goal for Argentina would force the Europeans to really go for it.
'47: Great chance for Samaras!! The forward managed to get in behind the Argentina defence there for a second but his shot flashed wide of the right-hand post, you get the feeling Greece may live to regret that.
'45: We're back! Greece have made a change, Karagounis off and Spyropoulos on in his place.
20:30: Wonder what Maradona is saying right now...what I would give to be in that dressing room! Or to understand the language!
20:27: To reiterate, South Korea will go through as it stands...so any Greek fans out there should be rooting for Nigeria in the other group B game. But not too much, if Nigeria hammer Korea then they could go through! Confused? Marvelous.
20:25: Just watching the highlights from the first half in the Nigeria game, I'm jealous, very jealous.
20:22: Messi has been shackled so far, time to take a look at him making more of an impact I think.
20:17: Not all is lost, after all, Portugal only went in 1-0 up at halftime against North Korea! Even though they were playing a less experienced, perhaps more naive side, Portugal looked like they could score. But apart from that, the game is an exact parallel! Keep the faith.
'45: Couple of decent efforts by Argentina to close the half, but really, unless the 'keeper had been Jabulani'd, they were never going to be goals. Halftime here.
'44: I'm starting to think I might be cursed. Came home from work to watch the first half of the North Korea/Portugal game the other day, only to be sitting in the office as Portugal turn on the style. Oh, and I also covered England's bore draw with Algeria the other day. Great.
'41: Just as I say Greece's game plan is working, South Korea equalise in Durban. South Korea move back into second in the group.
'40: Brilliant remark by Mick McCarthy there, someone rolling around on the floor play-acting after a Veron challenge: "One of those fatal pushes in the back."
'39: Got to say, you can't fault Greece's game plan. Not only are they sitting second in the group (good enough for qualification), they're containing Argentina fairly well. They've also looked lively on the counter-attack, some good direct passing that hasn't quite come off for them.
'35: Papadopoulos has a mouth full of tissue to stop some bleeding in his mouth. He looks like an absolute idiot...I'd say something about having problems communicating, but the vuvezula's probably take care of that anyway.
'33: Samaras working hard up front on his own here, Demichelis comes across and kicks the ball away from the Grecian. Cameras give the old close up on Samaras, he could get some kind of shampoo endorsement with that hair.
'30: Messi fouled (again), and the culprit happily accepts the yellow card. Katsouranis gives the referee the thumbs up for the decision, don't see that very often!
'29: Lovely ball through by Karagounis there, just overhit for Samaras. Nearly...nearly.
'27: Samaras just wiped out the corner flag, that's about as eventful as it's got for a the past few minutes. Think Argentina may have clocked that a draw sees them through here.
'25: Vuvezulas sounding good, bit of rhythm to them now...can't say I miss the drone wars of earlier fixtures.
'22: You can follow the action in the other Group B game here, not sure there is as much attacking talent on display, but hey, at least they have a goal!
'20: Goal in Group B, and it's a good one for Greece as it stands, Nigeria have taken the lead against South Korea! Would be nice to see at least some African nations make the next round in the African World Cup!!
'19: Argentina starting to warm up here...sensational strike from range by Veron. Beautiful hit, but was straight at the 'keeper.
'18: Great play by Aguero there, lovely turn of pace to break open the Greek defence. Shot was well struck but an easy save.
'16: Sorry about the image by the way, Getty images seems to be playing up...the infamous Jabulani has been behaving itself so far, honesty.
'14: Greece have a corner and it's headed out at the first time of asking. The ball finds it way over to the left-hand touchline and Maradona is getting animated, he's living every moment of this game. He was trying to take the throw-in there!!
'12: Got to say, I'm not jealous at all of the commentators on this one—some ludicrous tongue twisters in the Greek side.
'10: Nothing much to report in all honesty, Argentina are knocking it around tidily enough, but Greece are working hard to contain the South Americans. They are running around after them, at least.
'7: One of the Greek players got a bit of a kick from Veron there and had a huge tantrum...get on with it son, this is a man's game.
'6: Argentina dominating possession here, no surprise there.
'4: Greece are ranked 13th and Uruguay are 16th, in case you were wondering!
'2: Even if Greece do manage to pull one out of the bag tonight, you wouldn't back them to progress much further in the tournament. The runner-up in this group will play an impressive Uruguay in the next round. Greece have a higher FIFA world ranking than Uruguay, but that's about all they have over their potential competition.
'1: Disappointed Burdisso has come in at right-back, whatever happened to Maradona's policy of playing a left-winger there? Statement of intent right there!!
19:30: Here we go!
19:28: Apparently Greece are lining up 4-5-1, that answers that question then!
19:26: Awesome scenes as the Argentina anthem playing...camera pans down the players faces and the crowd are going crazy in the background. This is what the World Cup is all about.
19:24: Greek national anthem playing now, seems to be a fair chunk of blue and white in the crowd. They're making quite a racket, but they seem to be outnumbered by Argentinians.
19:23: Messi is leading out his nation, Javier Mascherano has been left on the bench to ensure he doesn't pick up a second yellow card (which would lead to suspension)...sounds fair enough to me!
19:22: Maradona clearly not rating Greece's chances of overcoming the South Americans, lots of changes to his lineup!
19:20: Here are the starting lineups in full:
Greece: Tzorvas, Kyrgiakos, Vyntra, Papadopoulos, Torosidis, Tziolis, Papastathopoulos, Moras, Karagounis, Katsouranis, Samaras.
Subs: Chalkias, Seitaridis, Patsatzoglou, Spyropoulos, Charisteas, Salpingidis, Gekas, Ninis, Kapetanos, Malezas, Sifakis.
Argentina: Romero, Burdisso, Demichelis, Otamendi, Rodriguez, Veron, Bolatti, Maxi, Aguero, Messi, Milito.
Subs: Pozo, Heinze, Di Maria, Higuain, Tevez, Garce, Samuel, Mascherano, Palermo, Pastore, Andujar.
19:18: Maradona has opted to leave Carlos Tevez on the bench for this game. Interesting one, Sergio Aguero looked impressive in his cameo against South Korea—will this be a permanent change for the tournament or is Carlito just getting a rest?
19:16: Lio Messi one of the biggest stars who have failed to shine thus far in the World Cup? (Just kidding)
19:14: Just seeing footage of the France game, why didn't Raymond Domenech shake his opposite number's hand? Odd one...
19:13: In case you're wondering who the players to watch in this game are, this slideshow might help. Should be able to review it before kickoff!
19:09: Will be interesting to see how Greece set out in this one, they aren't a naturally attacking team, but equally, getting a draw doesn't do them any good. They're currently third in the group, a Nigeria win would be very helpful, but the Super Eagles can also sneak into second place in the group if results fall their way.
19:07: Many of my English countrymen might take exception, but I think Maradona is an absolute legend. Enigmatic personality, he seems to have really united the team. Expecting Argentina to go a long way in this competition, despite their suspect qualifying campaign.
19:05: Hoping Lionel Messi will find his first goals of World Cup 2010, he's in my fantasy league dream team...pretty football counts for nothing and £10m isn't cheap!
19:00: Been looking forward to this one. Despite Greece's win over Nigeria a few days ago, Argentina should sweep aside the Europeans. Especially since Greece will be looking for a win, this one could get embarrassing.
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