(Saturday, June 12th)
Final Score: Argentina 1, Nigeria 0
Johannesburg, South Africa (Sports Network) - Gabriel Heinze's goal in the sixth minute was enough to lead Argentina to a 1-0 win over Nigeria at Ellis Park Stadium on Saturday in Group B play.
Heinze headed home the lone goal from a Juan Veron corner kick, while Lionel Messi missed a number of quality scoring chances that could have further increased Argentina's lead.
The win allows Argentina to join South Korea on top of the group after the Taeguk Warriors downed Greece, 2-0, earlier on Saturday.
Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama came under pressure often in the opening 10 minutes as he first watched Gonzalo Higuain fire wide after a good setup from Messi before Enyeama did well to tip Messi's shot wide.
However, Veron's corner kick was met in the middle of the penalty area by the head of Heinze, sending the ball towards the left post where Nigeria's Chidi Odiah was unable to keep it out.
Higuain threatened again in the 21st minute and Messi had a curling shot tipped past the far post by the keeper.
Veron almost set up another goal shortly after the restart as his low cross was deflected inches wide of the post by Messi, who also wasted a good chance from a Tevez pass in the 65th minute.
The Super Eagles finally pressured the Argentine defense in the 71st minute when Taye Taiwo sent a low shot skipping past the post before a powerful long- range effort from Obafemi Martins was parried by Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
Messi was thwarted again by Enyeama in the 81st minute after a nice one-two with Angel Di Maria, and Nigeria's final chance came one minute later when Kalu Uche volleyed a cross from Ayegbeni Yakubu over the net from 12 yards.
06/12 17:34:05 ET