KIMBERLEY - Uruguay
defender Diego Godin is doubtful for their quarter-final clash
with Ghana on Friday, coach Oscar Tabarez said.
Godin, a stalwart in a backline that has conceded only one
goal in four matches, sustained a thigh injury in the 2-1
victory over South Korea.
He had trained separately for the first 15 minutes of a
practice session on Monday, jogging round the pitch with fellow
Diegos Forlan and Perez.
Asked about Godin's condition on Tuesday, Tabarez said: "It
is the doctor who should be speaking. He (Godin) is
recuperating. We still don't know if he will play or not."
Should Godin fail to start, Tabarez can rely on Mauricio
Victorino who came on for him at halftime against South Korea
and put in a solid performance.
Forlan and Perez are fit to play, Tabarez said, but took
part in light training because the former has a bruised toenail
and the latter did not wanted to aggravate the stitches in a cut
he sustained in the South Korea game.
Uruguay's solid defence and speedy attack has got them to
the last eight for the first time in 40 years and emotions back
home are running high.
La Celeste won the World Cup in 1930 and 1950 and the
country's three million people are desperate for a return to the
But Tabarez, a former school teacher who is known as The
Master, said he was concentrating on the job at hand.
"It is an important game for the Uruguayan nation but, for
me, I don't like to think about this. I like to concentrate. It
is not good to think too far ahead."
Striker Forlan, with two goals to his credit in the
tournament, said the Uruguayan players were rested and relaxed
but they were not underestimating Ghana.
"They are fast, strong. They did well in other games, even
against Germany," he told reporters.
He also denied the suggestion that there was any rivalry
between him and fellow striker Luis Suarez, who has scored three
times in South Africa so far.
"I have a good relationship with Luis and I'm happy to see
him score. We have a collective objective, not personal. We just
want to help the team," Forlan said.
Tabarez said the team had completed their preparations for
the Ghana game and would fly out of Kimberley, their base camp,
on Wednesday afternoon for Johannesburg.
They will not return even if they reach the semi-final
because they do not want to waste time travelling.
Dozens of Kimberley residents were allowed to watch the
start of Tuesday afternoon's training session and the players
chatted to them and signed shirts, Uruguay flags and balls to
the delight of the local children.
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