Higuain hat-trick downs Korea

The Argentina goals were scored by an Chu Young Park own-goal in the 16th minute and a hat-trick from Gonzalo Higuain. Korea pulled a goal back through Chung Yong Lee.

The Argentines cut an impressive force in the early stages of the encounter. Angel Di Maria was making good headway frequently down the left, while Lionel Messi was causing menace for the Asian outfit too. It was Di Maria who was first to arrow an effort towards goal, but his effort was well over the top. Gonzalo Higuain soon followed suit when he shot haplessly high from an acute angle.

Despite an upbeat beginning, the South Americans hadn’t really posed a massive threat on goal when they finally took the lead. A free kick was rolled short and ultimately delivered into the box, where the ball was missed by a couple of heads at the near post only to clatter off Park Chu-young and into the net.

Higuain would ultimately be the man to double the Albiceletes’ advantage, converting with his head from six yards after Messi and Maxi Rodriguez had combined to play a corner short.

Just before the break, Martín Demichelis gifted South Korea an unexpected route back into the match, dallying in possession and allowing Lee Chung-yong to pinch the ball from his toe before advancing to clip by Romero.

In the second half just as the Taegeuk Warriors seemed to be getting a foothold in the game, they were struck a fatal blow with quarter of an hour to play. A slick Argentine counter was led by Messi down the left, and though the Barcelona striker had his first effort kicked away by the goalkeeper and saw his follow-up from a tight angle hit the post, the ball bounced kindly for Higuain, who tapped home from close range to seal the point.

Less than five minutes later, Higuain had completed a memorable hattrick. Again Argentina were allowed to break, and again the decisive play came down the left side.

Messi chipped a deft pass to substitute Sergio Aguero in the box, and 'El Kun’ intelligently lifted his head to see a string of forwards queuing at the far post hungry for a goal. The Atletico Madrid forward obliged with a simple chip to the far post, where Higuain had the relatively easy task of tucking the ball back across the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net.

Late in the day a weaving run from Aguero nearly resulted in a stunning goal from a tight angle, but Argentina had to settle for four goals.

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