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Uruguay's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring the opening goal on Saturday afternoon in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. His day would end on a similar high note after he potted the winner with 10 minutes left. ((Julie Jacobson/Associated Press) )

Luis Suarez scored in each half Saturday at Port Elizabeth to help Uruguay beat South Korea 2-1 and advance to the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 40 years.

Suarez, who had five shots on target, scored the winner in the 80th minute after sidestepping two defenders and curling a right-foot shot off the post from the edge of the area.

"I couldn't believe it," Suarez said of the goal. "The truth is I didn't realize the ball was going to go in. In these moments, the only thing I want to do is enjoy."

Suarez gave Uruguay the lead in the eighth with a shot from a tight angle after Diego Forlan's cross from the left. Lee Chung-yong then equalized from a header in the 68th after goalkeeper Fernando Muslera left his line to attempt to punch away a looping ball.

Crushed, the South Koreans fell to their knees at the final whistle as the Uruguayans celebrated with a group hug in pouring rain.

The two-time world champion Uruguayans had not reached the quarter-finals at the World Cup since making the semifinals in 1970.

After Suarez scored his first goal, the South Koreans pushed forward, but Uruguay's compact defence forced them to rely on outside shots and they struggled to hit the target. Meanwhile, the South Americans sat back and waited for opportunities to stun their opponents with speedy counterattacks.

Lee Jung-soo lost the ball clumsily in the 27th — a mistake that could have been costly if Suarez had not been waved offside as he rushed toward the goal.

Uruguay was denied a penalty in the 44th when Maximiliano Pereria lobbed the ball over a defender and tried for goal. TV replays showed his volley struck Ki Sung-yong's left elbow, but German referee Wolfgang Stark allowed play to continue.

South Korea find their feet

It wasn't until after the break that South Korea found avenues into Uruguay's box. Park Chu-young sent a hard shot over the bar in the 51st and Muslera made a diving save to stop Park Ji-Sung's header seven minutes later.

Lee finally scored after Uruguay failed to clear a free kick hooked into the penalty area, and he had another chance minutes later, but his shot was too weak and aimed straight at Muslera.

"It would have been a lot better if we had played a bit smarter with a bit more confidence," South Korea coach Huh Jung-moo said. "We did learn this time that we have some areas to improve on."

The Koreans came close late in the game when Muslera couldn't hold substitute Lee Dong-gook's shot, but Diego Lugano controlled the ball as it rolled toward the goal line.

Uruguay and Portugal were the only teams to go through the group stage without conceding a goal. South Korea allowed six, more than any other team that advanced to the round of 16.

South Korea reached the semifinals at the 2002 World Cup it co-hosted with Japan. But this year was the first time it advanced from the group stage on foreign soil, beating Greece 2-0, losing to Argentina 4-1 and drawing 2-2 with Nigeria.

Uruguay won its group by beating South Africa 3-0 and Mexico 1-0, and playing to a 0-0 draw with France on the opening day of the tournament.