Day 16 Recap

June 26, 2010 - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - epa02223904 Uruguay's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring the 1-0 lead for his team during the FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16 match between Uruguay and South Korea at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 26 June 2010.


Korea 1 – Uruguay 2

Taking a cue from Jose Mourinho, Uruguay’s manager Oscar Tabarez rolled out in a defensive 4-3-3. Their counter-attacking strategy worked from the get go, with four Uruguayan attackers besting eight South Korean defenders for the opening goal. Luis Suarez’s 8th minute strike was mostly due to the talent of Diego Forlan, who held up a long pass until he had support and then sent in a cross to Suarez.

Uruguay then continued their Inter Milan impression – only pressuring South Korea when they came forward and making sure all passing lanes were cut off. As has been noted of the Champions League victors, this strategy makes for dull entertainment, and though South Korea could not break down their opponents from the run of play, they did find a goal through a set piece. Their success had been hinted at early in the match, when Park Chu-Young almost replicated his free kick heroics from just days ago: his fifth minute effort clanged off the post. Sixty-three agonizing minutes later, his team finally found the net. No one had marked Lee Chung-Yong on a free kick and a failed clearance allowed him to head home.

The goal forced Uruguay to remember that they were not forbidden from entering South Korea’s half of the pitch, and they admirably broke out of their defensive stupor, creating a number of chances before Suarez once more broke South Korean hearts. In the 80th, he brought down a corner and his curving shot would have been worthy of greats Beckham and Roberto Carlos.

South Korea took up the cause once more and did generate a final chance. Substitute Lee Dong-Gook beat the keeper but didn’t get a clean strike on the ball, resulting in a weak shot. As the hope of South Korea inched toward an open net, defender Diego Lugano raced in to collect the ball before it crossed the line, ensuring Uruguay would advance to the quarterfinals.

USA 1 – Ghana 2

Check out our summary here.

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