| GEO Sports|
| Argentina set for Last 16 after hammering S Korea 4-1|
| Updated at: 1853 PST, Thursday, June 17, 2010|
JOHANNESBURG: Diego Maradona's Argentina look certainties for a place in the last 16 of the World Cup after their 4-1 Group B victory over South Korea on Thursday as Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat-trick.
Maradona's side will be sure of a place in the knock-out phase later on Thursday if Group B rivals Greece and Nigeria draw in Bloemfontein.
Midfield maestro Lionel Messi was superb throughout as Argentina raced into a 2-0 first-half lead thanks to a header from Higuain and an own-goal by Korea's Park Chu-Young.
Monaco forward Park turned a free-kick by Messi into his own net on 17 minutes before Higuain's header extended the South American giants lead with his first goal on 33 minutes.
South Korea's Lee Chung-Yong gave his side hope with a goal at the end of the first half to make it 2-1, but Messi-inspired Argentina were not to be denied.
Higuain made sure of the win with two goals in four minutes late in the second-half in front of a 82,174-strong crowd at Soccer City.
Argentina meant business from the kick-off and took the lead when Messi's free-kick deflected off Park's legs who could only watch in horror as the ball flew over the line.
Argentina coach Diego Maradona then replaced the limping Walter Samuel with AS Roma's Nicolas Burdisso on 23 minutes.