Tuesday, June 22, 2010 (All times Eastern)
Nigeria (0-2-0) vs. South Korea (1-1-0), 2:30 p.m.
Durban, South Africa (Sports Network) - There aren't many teams that can afford to lose the first two games at a World Cup and still have a chance at advancing to the next round.
But that is exactly the situation for Nigeria when they meet South Korea at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday in the final match in Group B play for both teams.
Nigeria lost 1-0 to Argentina in its opener before suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Greece last time out.
The loss to the Greeks was tough to deal with because Nigeria took an early lead through Kalu Uche, but was reduced to 10 men in the 33rd minute because of a foolish red card earned by Sani Kaita.
Greece then leveled the match before halftime and scored the winner 20 minutes from time, but Nigeria boss Lars Lagerback is staying positive despite his team's poor start.
"The positive thing is that we still have a chance of qualifying, although we need a helping hand from Argentina," Lagerback said. "We need a fresh start, and we'll do that by beating South Korea. We were comfortably in control, but we had problems re-organizing after the sending-off. I'm pleased with my players' attitude in the circumstances. We played well in the second half and managed to create a couple of decent chances."
In order for Nigeria to advance they will need to beat South Korea and hope that Argentina beats Greece, allowing the Super Eagles to join Diego Maradona's side in the next round.
South Korea was on the wrong end of a 4-1 score with Argentina in its last match, but midfielder Yeom Ki Hun says that his team isn't too let down by the result.
"Even though we lost, we're not down about this result because we came up against one of the best teams in the world," he said. "We had several goalscoring chances but we weren't able to put them away. If there's one thing that we could regret, it's the series of defensive errors."
The Taeguk Warriors yielded an own goal inside of 20 minutes and were poor in the back as they allowed Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain to score three times in the span of 46 minutes, something that must be fixed prior to facing Nigeria.
The Koreans are in a good position to go through as they need only a draw and an Argentina win over Greece to move on.
06/21 13:58:06 ET