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Argentina Tops Nigeria in World Cup Action - 2002-06-02


Argentina has shown why it is one of the favorites to win the 2002 World Cup, as the South American side defeated Group-F opponent Nigeria 1-0 in a match in Ibaraki. Without the stellar play of Nigerian keeper Ike Shorunmu the margin of victory would have been much higher.

Argentina pressured Nigeria early in the match but was unable to take advantage of several scoring opportunities. The African side also had its chances, the best coming from captain Jay Jay Okocha in the 31st minute. His blistering shot was headed for the upper corner of the net, but Argentine keeper Pablo Cavallero's spectacular cross-net dive deflected the shot just over the crossbar.

Argentina continued the pressure in the second half but Super Eagles' keeper Ike Shorunmu stopped everything until the 63rd minute. That's when Gabriel Batistuta headed-in a corner kick to give the two-time World Champions the 1-0 lead. Nigeria's offense went all-out trying for the equalizer, but Argentina's defense was up to the task, earning three points for the 1-0 win.