Wow, it will be hard for Thursday to follow up the action on Wednesday, no draws, but upsets and a surprise. One of the huge favorites to win it all stumbled as Spain fell to the Swiss who instead of playing neutral attacked and got a 1-0 victory. Chile as expected got a win over Honduras, who I expected more from, and the host nation of South Africa got handled 3-0 against Uruguay.
If you want to be part of a good match day thread for Thursday check out: 7500 to Holte (Wednesday's tread had over 260 comments added)
The action will kick off with both of the first match winners in Group B facing off as Argentina who beat Nigeria in their first match will face South Korea who beat Greece in their opening match.
Argentina vs. South Korea - 5:30am MT - ESPN:
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Group B's early pacesetters meet at Ellis Park knowing that a second victory could potentially seal their progress to the last 16. Argentina and Korea Republic won their respective opening games against Nigeria and Greece although both have different goals for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South AfricaTM, with the South Americans' sights fixed firmly on a third title and the South Koreans chasing qualification for the knockout rounds for the first time beyond their own shores.
South Korea will need to succeed where far more illustrious teams have failed this past year in trying to foil the at times unstoppable Lionel Messi.
And if that wasn't daunting enough ahead of their Group B clash on Thursday, word from the increasingly confident Argentina camp is that Diego Maradona is starting to show his mettle as a coach, after being criticized back home for being tactically naive during the almost-disastrous qualifiers.
So can Argentina get beyond their coach? Maradona is a real question mark on a team that has loads and loads of talent. If he can stay out of their way, they get a 2-0 win.
The rest of the days action after the jump:
The second match of the day will feature the two teams in Group B that lost those first matches and both will be looking to keep their World Cup hopes alive as Greece faces off with Nigeria
Greece vs. Nigeria - 8:00am MT - ESPN
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Just a single game into the tournament, the pressure is on both Greece and Nigeria, as both lost their opening Group B fixtures. Korea Republic deservedly downed the Greeks 2-0, and although Nigeria gave a creditable account of themselves against Argentina, they ultimately had in-form keeper Vincent Enyeama to thank for limiting the damage to a 1-0 reverse.
The Greece backline should get a boost with the return of Bologna defender Vangelis Moras, who is expected to be fit after being sidelined with a lingering groin injury.
But the speed of the Nigerians could cause problems for Greece, which has an aging squad known more for its tactical prowess than its pace.
This one should be a good battle as both sides look to fight their way back into the group, I think Nigeria is the better side and will pull out a 1-0 win.
The final action of the day will pit two of my least favorite national team as Mexico will face France, this should actually be a great match as both teams will be looking for a way to keep pace with Uruguay who got a win on Wednesday, 3 points for France who would next face South Africa and they would almost be a lock, while anything less than 3 points for Mexico and their final group match against Uruguay could be for a spot in the next round.
France vs. Mexico - 12:30pm MT - ESPN2
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Following draws in their opening Group A encounters here at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South AfricaTM, France and Mexico are both in need of a positive result in Polokwane on 17 June. What is more, a win for either could prove a hammer blow for the other's hopes of reaching the Round of 16.
France's goalless opener was the third time they started a major finals in this fashion under boss Domenech. At Germany 2006 they recovered to go all the way to the Final, while at UEFA EURO 2008 they fell at the first hurdle. Which path will they follow at South Africa 2010?
A French team in disarray will face a Mexico lineup which is growing in confidence in a Group A match on Thursday that could be crucial in determining who progresses in the World Cup.
Mexico scored a late equalizer in the tournament's first match against South Africa, taking some of the gloss of the opening day celebrations for the host nation. France opened later last Friday with a lackluster scoreless draw against Uruguay that didn't encourage anybody except their group rivals.
Well neither team impressed in their opening matches, but I am going to pick France to rebound in this match. I have to as I have them moving on into the next round and they would have to hate facing South Africa knowing only a win could save them, France 2 - Mexico 1
Well enjoy the action
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