JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 17: Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero of Argentina celebrate the third goal by Gonzalo Higuain (#9) of Argentina during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group B match between Argentina and South Korea at Soccer City Stadium on June 17, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Well it is time for each group in order to play their final matches we will start with Groups A & B, of the 8 teams that will play their matches, only one team has really secured their spot, that being Argentina. The day will start with Group A matches and the best two teams of the group will face off.
Mexico vs. Uruguay - 8:00am MT - ESPN
Each side has a win and a draw, each side has scored 3 goals, and while Uruguay hasn't given up a single goal so far this World Cup, Mexico has given up just one.
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"I like Mexico. I like their intensity. They are similar to us in that they have know how to make well-drilled tactical changes. They have a lot of pace, they are clever, they have intelligent players, they are good in the air and they can surprise you. All that said, in all modesty I still think that we have what it takes to give them a good game," Sebastian Abreu, Uruguay forward.
"Mexico won't play for a draw. I love winning and so do my team-mates because that's our mentality. I'm not really interested in whether Uruguay, France or South Africa qualify. I want to win this game, no two ways about it," Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Mexico forward.
Now that the pressure and tension of the opening day draw with Mexico is out of the way, South Africa is gaining confidence ahead of Wednesday's match against a Uruguay lineup that could well field three strikers.
Although Mexico hit back in a 1-1 draw to deny the South Africans a victory at Soccer City on Friday, the hosts are satisfied that their overall performance in the game boosted their chances of beating two-time World Cup winner Uruguay at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria.
It will be interesting to see how this match turns out, you would think both teams are coming in with great confidence after getting wins in their second matches after draws on the first day of the tournament. I think Mexico has been the luckier team, while Uruguay the more impressive, I think this one ends up 2-1 for Uruguay.
More after the jump:
France vs. South Africa - 8:00am MT - ESPN2
Each got a draw on the opening day of the tournament, each lost their second match. No host team has failed to make it out of their group and the reality is that it would take something very, very special for South Africa or France to make it out of this group.
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"We're focusing on the idea of winning the match, first and foremost. Scoring goals and hoping that the other result goes our way will follow on from that. The most important thing is to keep reminding ourselves that there's still a chance," Raymond Domenech, France coach.
"I always said that it would all come down to the final match. I don't think we can hope to defend, wait for a mistake and hit them on the counter-attack. If we are serious about wanting to make it to the next round, we'll need to take some risks," Carlos Alberto Parreira, South Africa coach.
France and South Africa head into their final World Cup group game on Tuesday desperately trying to save national pride, and with only an outside chance of qualifying for the next round.
Neither has won a game yet, and both have the weight of their nations on their shoulders.
South Africa's 3-0 loss to Uruguay in its previous game disappointed home fans and left the team staring at the very real prospect of being the first ever host nation not to get out of the group stages at a World Cup.
As deep as Bafana Bafana's problems are, they are insignificant compared to the strife in the French camp.
On paper two weeks ago, nobody would have thought twice about France winning this match, but perhaps no story has been bigger than the complete meltdown both on and off the pitch of the French National Team, player sent home, officials quiting, players refusing to practice. Now the question is after two horrible showings, two matches where there is plenty of blame for both players and coaches, will France even really bother to show up? My heart wants me to pick South Africa to win this match big and find a way to advance, but my head says that the French players will decide that no matter what one doesn't "dial it in" when playing for your national team. 1-1 draw.
Which will mean that Uruguay will win the group and Mexico will advance as the 2nd place team from the group.
Group B will also complete their action on Tuesday, Argentina is all but a lock to make it through as the group winner but the second spot is going to depend on the final results Tuesday as both Greece and Korea are tied with 3 points. Korea has to be considered the favorite as they face pointless Nigeria, while Greece has to face undefeated Argentina.
Argentina vs Greece - 12:30pm MT - ESPN
One of the best teams through two matches Argentina could rest players and play for a draw which would be more than enough to see them advance, but when you have the ego of Maradona you know that they will be playing for the win.
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"Argentina are world-class, they're clearly better than us. We still have a chance, but it'll be very hard. We're the underdogs against Argentina, that's for sure, but we'll give it our best shot. For now, we'll just enjoy the fact we've beaten Nigeria," Otto Rehhagel, Greece coach.
"Argentina are a team who go forward. We have good players, attacking players. We must go out on the attack and show our class. We must get forward and put our opponents under pressure," Carlos Tevez, Argentina forward.
Argentina could become the first team at the World Cup to wrap up three victories if it defeats Greece on Tuesday - though a draw would be enough for the twice world champions to advance to the last 16 as Group B winners.
Coach Diego Maradona's team has so far underlined its status as one of the tournament's biggest favorites, scoring an aggregate 5-1 goal difference.
I want to cheer for Greece, they have scored their first goal in this World Cup, and they have gotten their first win in this World Cup, how great if they could advance out of the group for the first time. Again my heart wants one thing to happen but my head says this one ends 3-1 for Argentina.
Korea vs. Nigeria - 12:30pm MT - ESPN2
One has to wonder what Korean team will show up, the one that dominated Greece in their first match, or the one that got spanked 4-1 by Argentina? Nigeria will be looking to save face and get their first result of the tournament, they played well in the opening match against Argentina but took a huge step back in their 2-1 loss to Greece.
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"It'll be very hard now. We've lost both matches and it looks like we won't make it to the next round, even if we beat the South Koreans. We're basically out of the tournament," Joseph Yobo, Nigeria captain
"We have a lot of players on European teams who have accumulated experience playing with and against African players. They tend to be very flexible, strong and speedy, in very good physical condition," Park Ji-Sung, Korea Republic midfielder
Nigeria may have lost both its games so far at the World Cup, but a win over South Korea on Tuesday could still see the Africans make it through to the round of 16.
Form side Argentina looks set to top Group B, needing only a draw against Greece in a simultaneous game Tuesday to lock up that spot.
The other three sides are all alive in the fight for second place.
Pride can mean a lot to teams and for Nigeria, there is nothing for them to lose, while Korea comes in knowing that a win or draw and a win by Argentina and they will advance. I look for Korea to start the match very defensively, while Nigeria have nothing to lose and should be playing free and attacking, this match has all the earmarks of an upset and I am going to pick that to happen as Nigeria win 2-1, which would leave both teams with 3 points and -2 goal differential, I believe that would put Nigeria through on the basis of the head to head win.
It should be an exciting day as teams do their best to secure their spot in the round of 16.
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