Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece
Another difficult group to call in this World Cup. The clear favorite is Argentina, though Diego Maradona’s side had a tumultuous qualifying campaign that only saw them clinch a spot to South Africa on the final day of matches. Nigeria, South Korea, and Greece are all harboring hopes of being the second placed team in the group.
Nigeria are a physical side who can boast some top attackers though they are a team that has been inconsistent in recent years. South Korea look primed to finally make a splash at a World Cup on foreign soil, while Greece hope to recapture the spirit of 2004, when the team came out of nowhere to win the European Championship.
Group B is certainly one of the groups that could go all the way to the end of the third matchday before we see who advances. It is one of the less talked about groups, however there is certainly plenty of intrigue here.
What Should Happen
Asia’s most successful-ever team enter their 7th consecutive World Cup. South Korea are hoping to end an inability to perform well overseas in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. With an improved squad and expectations higher than ever at home, many wonder whether this will be a breakout performance by the 2002 World Cup co-hosts.
4th place was achieved in that hosted tournament, however questions are still posed to this team about favorable refereeing decisions helping the team progress eight years ago. After missing out on a place in the knockout rounds in 2006, the goal this team in Group B, which features opponents Argentina, Nigeria, and Greece, is to get to the second round.
TALE OF THE TAPE
FIFA Ranking: 49th
World Cup Appearances: 7 (1954, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 4-7-13
Best World Cup Finish: 4th place, 2002 World Cup
Road To South Africa: Qualified as 1st Place team from Asia Round 4, Group B