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Uruguay vs. South Korea
Knockout Round Prediction
John J. Raspanti
In an intriguing matchup, favored Uruguay takes on a determined South Korea squad. Uruguay's play has been pretty consistent so far; they battled to a 0-0 tie against France and then followed that game with a convincing 3-0 victory over South Africa. Their final match was against Mexico, which Uruguay only needed a draw to advance. The game was a hard fought affair, with Uruguay prevailing 1-0 to qualify as group winners.
South Korea began the World Cup in a perfect way with an impressive 2-0 victory over Greece. There second game was a bit of a reality check as Argentina romped to a 4-1 victory. Their final match was against a dogged Nigeria team, who battled throughout the game which eventually ended in a 2-2- tie. Still the tie enabled them (with a little help) to qualify for the round of 16. Returning to Port Elizabeth, the same place they beat Greece fuels even more confidence in South Korea.
Replied South Korea midfielder Park Ji-sung said "Our goal was to reach the last 16," Park added. "It really is fantastic to write a new chapter in the history of Korean football. We succeeded in doing this for the first time away from home."
Uruguay isn't lacking in confidence themselves and showed some real aggressiveness in there play, but coach Oscar Tabarez still speaks about his teams lack of experience.
"We had bad moments, but also good moments," Tabarez said. "It was a lack of experience."
Still Uruguay's pace, power and technique have been very impressive at times. Diego Forlan has looked very good in his last two games, moving around the field smartly and collecting a couple of goals and setting up his teammate Luis Suarez. Jorge Fucile has been the heart of the Uruguay defense. The South Koreans have no problem scoring and have consistently done that throughout their three games. Lee Jung-Soo, Park Chu-Young, Captain Park Ji-Sung, have all scored goals.
The South Koreans defense though is suspect, having allowed six goals in three games. The same can't be said for the Uruguay squad, whose D hasn't allowed a single goal. This along with Uruguay's all around ability will most likely be the difference in the game.
Look for Uruguay to exploit the South Koreans defensive lapses and attack at every opportunity. The South Koreans have a wonderful never say die attitude and flair for some magical moments, they will fight with every inch of there being...but ultimately the stronger and more talented Uruguay squad will most likely find a way to prevail.
Current Match Odds
Korea Republic +350