Saturday, June 26, 2010

Preview of Round of 16. Match 1: Uruguay v South Korea

This is South America v Asia. This is 1930 and 1950 World Cup winners against 2002 Semi-finalist. This is 2.5 million people v 52 million. La Celeste v Taeguk Warriors.

Uruguay and South Korea have only ever played each other once at a World Cup. This was at the group stage in 1990. Uruguay won 1-0 in the last minute and qualified for the round of 16, South Korea went home without registering a point. They have played each other five times in total - Uruguay have won 4 times and they have drawn once. South Korea have never beaten a South American side at a World Cup.

Uruguay will be desperate to make their first quarter-finals since 1970 and are in the knock-out stages for the first time since 1990. South Korea will want to write a new chapter in their history having only been past the group stage once before (2002). Both will be buoyed, knowing that should they win, their quarter-final clash will be against USA or Ghana, neither one of the so-called bigger nations.

Form Guide over their last 5 games: Uruguay are unbeaten with 4 wins and a draw. South Korea have recorded a win, a draw and three losses. At this World Cup Uruguay are yet to concede a goal, scoring 4 times. South Korea have scored 5 and conceded 6.

Who is the favourite? Uruguay probably go in as favourites but this is finals football: form can go right out of the window. Forlan and Park Ji-Sung could be the keys to victories for their respective sides.

Who will reign supreme? It will be an interesting clash of styles, and naturally I'm really looking forward to the game.

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