Gonzalo Higuain scored the first hat-trick of the World Cup as Argentina all but assured themselves a place in the last 16 with an impressive 4-1 victory over South Korea at Soccer City.
Diego Maradona's men were on top from the time they took the lead through a Park Chu-young own goal in the 17th minute. Higuain doubled the advantage after 33 minutes, but a lapse in concentration from Martin Demichelis on the stroke of half-time allowed Lee Chung-yong to give his side hope.
After briefly threatening a comeback early in the second half, the Koreans faded thanks to a double from Real Madrid striker Higuain that handed his side maximum points from their opening two fixtures in Group B.
The first goal arrived after a nicely flighted free-kick from Barcelona forward Lionel Messi on the left caught out Park Chu-young as he deflected the ball into his own net.
That lead was extended when a short free-kick on the left came to Rodriguez, whose ball into the box was flicked on by Nicolas Burdisso to Higuain, who put his free header beyond the helpless Jung Sung-ryong.
As the seconds wound down to the break, Demichelis took his eye off a header from Park Chu-young, allowing Bolton midfielder Lee to nip in and score.
Argentina again looked threatening at the start of the second half, with Carlos Tevez and Angel Di Maria combining to set up Higuain for a free header six yards out that was excellently tipped away by Jung.
Yeom Ki-hun should have drawn his side level after 55 minutes when he was put clean through on the right following a quick break, but found the side netting after opting to use his left foot instead of the right.
Sergio Aguero came on for Tevez and the move proved an instant hit with the Atletico Madrid forward playing in Messi on the left - his initial shot was blocked by Jung and the rebound shot hit the base of the left upright before falling to Higuain for a simple tap-in.
That was in the 76th minute and four minutes later the Real Madrid star completed his hat-trick after nodding in Aguero's cross at the back post. Messi, desperate to open his account in South Africa, and Aguero missed late chances to add to Korea's woes as the Albiceleste completed a commanding win.
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