Argentina vs. South Korea starts World Cup schedule June 17

Lionel Messi leads Argentina vs. South Korea, Franck Ribery leads France vs. Mexico, and Greece goes against Nigeria on the World Cup schedule Thursday.

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    Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero celebrate a goal during a Group B match against South Korea at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday.
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Argentina vs. South Korea began the World Cup schedule Thursday, with the world's best player, Argentina's Lionel Messi, dancing his floppy head of hair across the pitch.

THURSDAY (June 17):

  • Argentina vs. South Korea, 1:30 pm (7:30 am EST)
  • Greece vs. Nigeria, 4 pm (10 am EST)
  • France vs. Mexico, 8:30 pm (2:30 pm EST)

No. 7-ranked Argentina is expected to defeat No. 47-ranked South Korea.

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No. 13-ranked Greece is expected to defeat No. 21-ranked Nigeria. Greece already lost their first game, to South Korea, so even if they defeat Nigeria they'll still have to beat top team Argentina to advance to the next round.

No. 9-ranked France is expected to have a tough time against No. 17-ranked Mexico. You've got to respect America's southern neighbor. They're consistently one of the world's top teams and World Cup contenders, yet that have no individual players rated in ESPN's Top 50. Meanwhile, France has six, led by midfielder Franck Ribery.

Because Mexico and France both tied their first matches, today's standoff could well determine which team will advance to the next round.

Check back with Monitor for results. On Wednesday, Chile beat Honduras (1-0), Switzerland upset Spain (1-0), and Uruguay beat South Africa (3-0). See all results and a schedule at FIFA.com.

Download a PDF of the World Cup schedule from FIFA, and this ESPN fact sheet on its month-long coverage of the World Cup. Live television coverage on ESPN and Univision begins a half-hour before each match. ESPN3 offers live streaming.

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