World Cup Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, June 17, 2010
(All times Eastern)
Greece (0-1-0) vs. Nigeria (0-1-0), 10 a.m.
Bloemfontein, South Africa (Sports Network) - Group B bottom-feeders Greece
and Nigeria square off in the second match of the FIFA World Cup group stage
on Thursday at Free State Stadium.
Both clubs are coming off losses in their openers, with Greece falling to
South Korea, 2-0, and Nigeria losing to group-favorites Argentina, 1-0.
"Neither team knew exactly where they stood going into the match," Greece
coach Otto Rehhagel said after the loss. "We had the first chance but we were
unable to take it. We were caught napping for the first goal and never really
got into the match after that. We just didn't have that bit of luck you need.
South Korea were worth their win because they took their chances and we
didn't. We didn't tackle well and Korea played themselves into a frenzy."
If Greece is going to have a chance against Nigeria on Thursday, it is going
to have to do a better job of clogging things up in the midfield than it did
against South Korea, which ran free for long stretches in the team's opener.
"The best teams in the world are up against each other here and it's the
little things that make the difference," Rehhagel said. "We'll go away and
have a look at our mistakes now and then raise our performance in the next
game. We still have every chance."
Nigeria, which is trying to get back to the successes of World Cups past -
advancing to the second round in 1994 and 1998 - will be aiming to rebound
from a tough one-goal loss in a game it must get three points in.
If goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has the type of game he had against Argentina -
six saves - chances are that Nigeria will be successful on Thursday.
"It was a great night for me and to play against a team like Argentina was a
fantastic opportunity for everyone," Enyeama said after the game.
The Nigerian offense is going to have to do better, however, than the one shot
on goal it generated in its first match.
06/16 14:41:09 ET