Even though I knew the result of this game was inevitable, I harboured the hope that Nigeria might perform well enough against South Korea in their final group match to secure the second seed in Group B. Nigeria vs Korea Republic FIFA
Nigeria got off to a strong start. They were on track to qualify thanks to an early fortunate goal from Kalu Uche in the 12th minute. A few changes were made to the starting lineup for today’s game, with Yusuf Ayila starting in place of the suspended Sani Kaita, Kanu Nwanko starting in place of Osaze Odemwingie, and Rabiu Afolabi replacing the injured Taye Taiwo. However, little else changed from the Nigerians’ previous performances.
Nigeria vs Korea Republic FIFA World Cup 2010 Highlights Match
Poor midfield passes led to two set pieces that South Korea successfully benefited from. The first came from Jungsoo’s equaliser in the 38th minute as a result of Afolabi’s shoddy marking. The other was for Park Chu Young to take the lead in the 49th minute.
Nigeria also seemed to be playing for a draw even though they needed to win this match. When not in possession of the ball, they would retreat to their own half and were slow to the ball.
They had a few scoring opportunities, but their poor goalkeeping exposed the Nigerian team. Ogbuke Obasi was tripped in the Korean penalty area, which led to their eventual equivalence.
Obafemi Martins had a chance to give Nigeria the victory in the 79th minute, but his effort was identical to Ayegbeni’s miss in the 63rd. Ayegbeni put the ball wide despite being only a few yards from the goal mouth and having already defeated the goalkeeper.
Although Kanu played well, he became fatigued in the second half. Although Nigeria’s play as a result of its two substitutions—Martins for Kanu and Nsofo for Yakubu—did not exactly elevate the game, it did add some energy. The Super Eagles’ tenth-hour scramble was a little too late.