Uruguay Await USA or Ghana


Uruguay became the first South American country, beyond Brazil and Argentina, to reach the last 8 for 32 years after an exhilarating 2-1 victory over South Korea in the pouring reign of Port Elizabeth.

Luis Suarez who plays for Ajax scored both goals, the second a cracking curling shot, to vanquish a brave but tired looking Korean squad.

Uruguay’s opening goal was not a thing of beauty however. The move started on the right with Palermo’s Edinson Cavani cutting in, and then spooning a seemingly wayward pass far out to the left where Diego Forlan chased it down.

His cross into the South Korean six yard area was left by several defenders and the keeper, but not Luis Suarez who finished from a tight angle for an eighth minute lead.

Bolton’s Lee Chung-Yong was an incessant danger to the Uruguyans. He hit the upright early on from close in, and then rifled a long range effort marginally past the post after half an hour. On a side note, fans complaining about handball calls should observe the body language of Uruguayan captain and defender Diego Lugano on that shot. The outstanding defender, possibly the find of the tournament, kept his hands completely behind his back, even at the risk of leaving himself unprotected, in order to leave no risk of the ball hitting his hand and conceding a penalty. It was text book defending, and whoever can persuade Turkish club Fenerbahce to release him will have bought a world class player.

Sung finally tested Uruguay keeper Fernado Muslera in the 58th minute as Korea’s hunger for the equaliser increased, but the keeper, still unbeaten in this World Cup, caught the Manchester United star’s header comfortably.

Uruguay were deep in defending at this point and seemingly content to allow the Koreans to come at them until they penalty area. It was a dangerous policy and Uruguay got what they deserved in the 66th minute.

A corner from the left was met weakly by a Mauricio Victorino header. Lee Chung-Yong, the 21-year-old Bolton midfielder, reacted first to the aerial loose ball, and headed past Muslera. It was a poor goal to concede and Muslera’s first, but Uruguay brought it onto themselves by reverting to ultra-defence way too early.

With Korea’s equaliser, they then had to move out of that mode and start attacking again. It didn’t take long. Luis Suarez brought out a fine save from Jung Sung-Ryong. Minutes later he had a completely free header and rushed his effort, putting it wide.

Korea did not heed the warning. Ten minutes from the end of normal time, he collected a corner from the right and far too easily side stepped Kim Jung-Woo. Suarez then sent an exquisite curling shot into the corner of South Korea’s net leaving Jung Sung-Ryong no chance.

Uruguay did not repeat their error of sitting back on the lead this time but allowed Lee Dong Guk a superb chance which Muslera only half saved in the pouring rain. Captain Lugano shepherded the ball to safety.

This proved to be South Korea’s last chance to draw level. Uruguay’s advance further emphasises that this is South America’s World Cup. All five nations progressed beyond the Group stage and now they have the first side into the last eight.

They will play the USA or Ghana.

Great AP Pictures from Uruguay’s Win in Port Elizabeth

USA v Ghana Match Report


About Author

Comments are closed.