World Cup post-game: Uruguay 2, South Korea 1
Uruguay is through to the next round of the FIFA World Cup following a 2-1 win over South Korea Saturday in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Luis Suarez scored both goals for Uruguay in the Round of 16 match, including the winner in the 80th minute, to send the South Americans on to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1970, when it lost to Brazil in the semis.
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The South American domination of this tournament continues.
Uruguay's victory means all five nations from the continent — Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay are the others — remain alive at the World Cup, a sign that a repeat of an all-European final four from four years ago may not come to fruition.
Brazil and Argentina were touted as South America's top contenders prior to the World Cup, but Uruguay is making a strong case for itself.
La Celeste, buoyed by the dangerous attacking trio of Luiz Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani, and a miserly defence, have outscored their opponents by an impressive 6-1 margin, and have played some wonderful soccer that would leave even Brazil and Argentina envious.
Saturday's victory also marked the rebirth of a once great soccer nation.
Uruguay won the first World Cup on home soil, in 1930, and again in 1950 in Brazil. But since reaching the semifinals in 1970, La Celeste have lost their way, qualifying for only four of the last nine tournaments, and failing to make it beyond the second round.
What this result means
Uruguay moves on to the quarter-finals to meet Ghana. South Korea has been eliminated, leaving Japan as the only Asian country still in the competition.
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The winning goal
With extra time looming and the rain pouring down with biblical fury, Forlan whipped a corner kick into the box. The ball fell to the feet of Suarez, who sidestepped a South Korean defender and curled a gorgeous shot from 17 yards out into the far corner of the net in the 80th minute.
The turning point
After Suarez scored in the eighth minute, Uruguay contented itself to sit back and soak up the pressure, and hit out against South Korean on the counterattack.
The Asians dominated possession, but couldn't find a way through Uruguay's defence, until Lee Chung-yong scored on a header in the 68th minute. Lee's goal not only tied the game, but it drew Uruguay out of its defensive shell and forced it to attack with greater purpose, setting the stage for Suarez to emerge as the hero.
Goal of the match
Both of Suarez's goals were spectacular, but the winner was superb, the product of a sublime finish and great technique.
Man of the match
After putting his country out in front early, Suarez rescued Uruguay with his late effort, his third goal of the tournament.
The Uruguayan perspective
"I couldn't believe it. 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." —Forward Luis Suarez
The South Korean perspective
"It would have been a lot better if we had played a bit smarter with a bit more confidence. We did learn this time that we have some areas to improve on." — Coach Huh Jung-moo