As Greece grab first ever World Cup win
Germany vs Serbia 1:30pm Slovenia vs USA 4pm England vs Algeria 8.30pm
Argentina 4-1 South Korea
Nigeria 1-2 Greece
France 0-2 Mexico
VASSILIS Torosidis scored Greece’s winner as they beat Nigeria 2-1 to seal their first ever World Cup victory and keep alive their chances of progressing from Group B at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein yesterday.
Torosidis pounced in the 71st minute after Dimitris Salpingidis’s first half strike had cancelled out a Kalu Uche freekick for Nigeria, who also had Sani Kaita sent off.
Greece’s win puts them on three points with South Korea who earlier lost 4-1 to table-topping Argentina on Thursday, while Nigeria has no points from two games.
Nigeria grabbed the lead on 16 minutes when Uche’s 35 metre freekick floated past every one including stricken goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas and nestled in the net.
The African side was in control until a moment of madness in the 33rd minute saw Kaita red carded for foolishly kicking out at Torosidis - the midfielder remorsefully walking off with his shirt over his head.
The game turned immediately in Greece’s favour. Coach Otto Rehhagel replaced defensive midfielder Socratis Papastathopoulos with striker Giorgos Samaras, who minutes later had a shot cleared off the line. Then came an equaliser.
Salpingidis etched his name into Greek record books by scoring his country’s first ever World Cup goal with a 44th minute strike that wickedly deflected off Nigeria midfielder Haruna Lukman before flying into the net.
Salpingidis, who celebrated jubilantly with the whole Greek squad, had previously scored the winner in the World Cup playoff against Ukraine to take his country to South Africa.