PORT ELIZABETH - Luis Suarez netted two
superb goals to earn Uruguay a 2-1 win over a battling South
Korea on Saturday and fire his team into the World Cup
quarter-finals for the first time in four decades.
The match looked to be headed for
extra time when Suarez
blasted a curling shot in off the post to clinch an 80th-minute
winner after South Korea had fought their way back into the game
and could have won it.
a Uruguay shirt
"Being young, this is the moment I have always dreamed of.
This is an unrepeatable moment," said 23-year-old Suarez.
"As a football player you always
want things to work out,
even more so in the World Cup."
Uruguay, who won the World Cup in
1930 and 1950, will play
either the United States or Ghana in the quarter-finals in
Johannesburg on July 2.
defeat was a crushing blow for 2002 World Cup
semi-finalists South Korea, whose players slumped to the ground
in devastation after being denied a place in the last eight for
the first time on foreign soil.
An early horrendous error by one
of the tournament's
leakiest defences left the Koreans chasing a game they went on
to dominate, with Suarez popping up in clear space to slot the
ball into an empty net in the eighth minute.
Edison Cavani neatly curled the
ball out wide to Diego
Forlan, whose incisive low cross was missed by the keeper and
the sleeping Korean defence and reached the unmarked Suarez, who
coolly side-footed home to spark ecstatic celebrations.
South Korea never gave in and
piled on the pressure with a
steady stream of dangerous counter-attacks, with Park Ji-sung
linking up well with Lee Chung-yong and Park Chu-young, whose
free-kick struck the post early on.
The relentless Korean onslaught
continued after the interval
and they came close through Kim Jae-sung and Park Chu-young as
Uruguay rarely threatened and looked to have settled for a
almost levelled close to the hour when Park
Ji-sung forced a save from Fernando Muslera, but their pressure
paid off in the 68th minute when Lee Chung-yong out-jumped
Muslera to head a poorly cleared free-kick into the net.
South Korea's celebrations were
cut short by Suarez's
clinical strike, but they kept on fighting and almost took the
game into extra time in a thrilling last 10 minutes.
Lee Dong-guk's shot went through
the keeper's legs but
lacked the power to cross the line and the ball was hacked to
safety to the despair of the Korean players.
"Our players never give up no
matter what the situation,"
South Korea coach Huh Jung-moo said.
"We were on a high we were doing
quite well ... the reason
we lost was we were unable to capitalise on our opportunities."
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez
admitted it had been a tough
game but said they were delighted with the chance to repeat
their 1970 feat by reaching the semi-finals.
"We waited a long time for this. I
think the team put on a
display of discipline, maturity and class, and luckily Suarez
scored that amazing goal," he said.
Tabarez added The Koreans had
surprised Uruguay with their
approach and a different style of game which had tired out his
"Korea had a great
match. Perhaps they weren't lucky and we
were, but that's football," he said.
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