World Cup 2010 Preview: Nigeria - South Korea

* Kick-off: Tuesday 22 June, 19:30 BST * Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa
Hoping Against Hope

Nigeria are an African footballing giant, but so far in the World Cup they have been largely disappointing. The Super Eagles lost their opening game in Group B 1-0 to Argentina and were clearly the second best side. In their second match against Greece, Lars Lagerback's side took the lead against Greece but, after going a man down, lost the match 2-1.

At the moment the Super Eagles are at the bottom of Group B with zero points from two matches. Only a win against South Korea on Tuesday would do any good to the Nigerians, but even then, they will have to depend on the result between Greece and Argentina. A draw or win for Greece would render Nigeria's result against the Koreans academic.

However, Nigeria will be looking to do something big against the Koreans. This is the first World Cup on African soil and with most African nations disappointing, many Africans will be looking towards Nigeria for inspiration.

Last 16 Qualification

South Korea started their World Cup in a very encouraging way as they defeated Greece 2-0 in their opening game of Group B. The Koreans were superior in that game and captain Park Ji-Sung scored a brilliant second goal.

However, in their second game the Koreans were brought back to earth as one of the favourites to win the tournament, Argentina, trounced them 4-1, with Lionel Messi performing the way he does for his club side Barcelona and Gonzalo Higuain netting a very encouraging hat-trick. That defeat combined with Greece's 2-1 comeback victory over Nigeria means that South Korea's qualification chances are in the balance.

South Korea are currently second in Group B with three points from two matches. However, they will have to win to make sure of qualification as in the other game on Tuesday in the group, Greece take on Argentina. A draw will still be enough for the Koreans to go through provided Greece lose to the South American giants.



South Korea

Greece 2-1 Nigeria Argentina 4-1 South Korea
Argentina 1-0 Nigeria South Korea 2-0 Greece
Nigeria 3-1 North Korea Spain 1-0 South Korea
Nigeria 1-1 Colombia South Korea 0-1 Belarus
Nigeria 0-0 Saudi Arabia Japan 0-2 South Korea



Sani Kaita is suspended for Nigeria after seeing red against Greece. Defenders Taye Taiwo and Elderson Echiejile may be available despite picking up minor injuries in that game.

Obafemi Martins has had to settle for a place on the bench in his side's opening two matches but could return to start alongside Yakubu in attack.

Probable Line-up (4-4-2): Enyeama; Odiah, Yobo, Shittu, Taiwo; Odemwingie, Etuhu, Lukman, Obasi; Aiyegbeni, Martins.

South Korea

Coach Huh Jung-Moo has no injury or suspension worries and will line up in a 4-4-2 formation.

Lee Dong-Gook recovered in time for South Korea's opening match against Greece but failed to make it onto the pitch before coming on as a substitute against Argentina, and he could start.

Probable Line-up (4-4-2): Jung Sung-Ryong; Cha Du-Ri, Cho Yong-Hyung, Lee Jung-Soo, Lee Young-Pyo; Park Ji-Sung, Kim Jung-Woo, Ki Sung-Yong, Lee Chung-Yong; Park Chu-Young, Lee Dong-Guk.



VincentVincent Enyeama was the best Nigerian player against Argentina and was the best for the African side in the first half of their game against Greece too. However, Enyeama made a howler in the second half to gift-wrap a win to the Greeks in spite of saving the Super Eagles on other occasions. However, against an attack-minded Korean side, Enyeama will have to be on top of his game on Tuesday evening too.

South Korea

Park Ji-Sung was sensational against Greece in their opening game of the tournament and scored the second and final goal against the Europeans. Although Park Ji-Sung went missing in the game against Argentina, he will hunting for his best form against Nigeria on Tuesday evening. Park is Asia's most famous player and the Koreans' hopes will be on his shoulders.


Nigeria have a tough task ahead if they want to qualify and have lost both their games so far. The Koreans looked very good against Greece in their opening game of the tournament and they will be keen to win their second game at the World Cup by defeating Nigeria.

Nigeria 0-2 South Korea

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No trip to South Africa is complete without a visit to its most beautiful and sunniest city. Durban offers much more than sandy beaches, safaris, casinos and the World Cup, for information on what  to do and see, please click here.

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