KIMBERLEY - Uruguay coach
Oscar Tabarez said on Wednesday injured defender Diego Godin
would miss the World Cup quarter-final match against Ghana as he
named his side a full 48 hours before the match.
Mauricio Victorino, who performed well after coming on for
Godin at halftime against South Korea, will start in his place
in Friday's match, Tabarez told a news conference.
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 is not fully recovered. He is not in the team because in
my opinion he is not 100 percent fit," Tabarez said, adding he
was not sure if Godin would even be on the substitutes' bench.
"We still have 48 hours," the coach said.
Tabarez also said he would bring in Alvaro Fernandez for
Alvaro Pereira in midfield.
The coach, known as The Master because of his days as a
schoolteacher, often names his team well before a match. Asked
by reporters to do so on Wednesday, he simply shrugged his
shoulders and rapidly reeled off the names.
They were Fernando Muslera, Diego Lugano, Mauricio
Victorino, Jorge Fucile, Maximiliano Pereira, Diego Perez,
Egidio Arevalo, Edinson Cavani, Alvaro Fernandez, Luis Suarez
and Diego Forlan.
Uruguay's South Africa campaign has been their most
successful since 1970, when they came fourth. They failed to
qualify for five of the nine tournaments since then, denting the
pride of a small nation that cherishes the memory of their World
Cup triumphs in 1930 and 1950.
Although coach and players are not underestimating the power
and pace of Ghana, the South Americans have a realistic chance
of beating the Africans and going through to the semi-finals.
The defence, marshalled by captain Diego Lugano, denied
early opponents France, South Africa and Mexico any goals and
they conceded just one to South Korea.
Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez have clicked in attack, scoring
five goals between them.
The ever-patient Tabarez said his team were well prepared
for the match.
"We are calm. But we know the important thing is the match,
not how we feel today," he said.
The squad leave their base camp in Kimberley, their home for
the past month, for the last time on Wednesday afternoon and
will set up camp in Johannesburg.
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