By Ollie Irish
As I suspected, after a dreary and unconvincing qualification campaign, Maradona’s Argentina came to life in South Africa. El Diego is clearly not cut out for the long grind of qualifying, but he is cut out for the big show – I’ve never seen so many cameras trained on one manager at a World Cup, and he loved it. He was about as entertaining to watch as what was happening on the pitch.
Argentina started very impressively, with Lionel Messi having one of his best games under Maradona, and would have won by several goals but for an excellent performance by Nigeria keeper Vincent Enyeama. I still think their back four is dodgy, and their keeper is not great either, but the amount of firepower they have is scary – you think England could leave a player as good as Diego Milito on the bench? No way.
Nigeria finished strongly and might even have snatched an undeserved equaliser. The Super Eagles may rue their lack of ambition in the first two thirds of the match, but they are also capable of beating South Korea and Greece, which should be enough to reach the second round.