Johannesburg, Jun 17: Argentina and South Korea are set to clash in the second Group B tie-up in the FIFA World Cup 2010 at Ellis Park on Thursday, Jun 17.
Both the teams have tasted victory in their openers. Argentina thrashed Nigeria 1-0 while South Korea dished out a 2-0 defeat to Greece. Therefore, a victory in this match is crucial for both the teams as it would get them through to the knock-out stage.
The Argentinian attack will be led by Lionel Messi, despite his disappointing performance in the opener, against Park Ji-sung from the rival team. The Korean skipped has already proved his mettle in the opener.
South Korea knows that it will be a tough tie compared to the opener against Greece. While the South Korean squad is tipped to remain the same, Argentina will be playing without playmaker Juan Veron, who is nursing a calf injury and there are reports that Coach Diego Maradona may recall Nicolas Burdisso in the wake of Jonas Gutierrez"s flimsy performance against Nigeria.
The teams have met twice in the past. Both the matches were won by Argentina including a 3-1 victory in 1986 World Cup first round. In FIFA ranking, Argentina is placed 7 while South Korea occupies the 47th spot.
Every time Argentinian coach Diego Mardona's men get ready for a match, an interesting drama starts off the field. When Mardona played against South Korea in 1986 World Cup, the Argentinian recalled that the Korean opponents played 'taekwondo' against them and not football.
Incidentally, Mardona's assailant is now the Korean manager, Huh Jung-Moo. When The Guardian caught up with him, Maradona said, "Oh yes, I remember Huh Jung-Moo very well."
"If I had done taekwondo then I'm sure the referee would have pulled out a yellow card," Huh is quoted as saying.
This little detail has doubled the interest in the match as it has given rise to the angle of war of coaches while their boys battle it out on the field.
Players To Watch:
Argentina: Leo Messi, Carlos Tevez
South Korea: Park Ji-Sung, Lee Jung-Soo