Stage: Round of 16
Winner Plays Versus: USA or Ghana
Time: 1600h GMT +1
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany): One of the better referees in the tournament who is excellent at maintaining control of a game without spoiling its dynamics.
Date of Birth: 20.11.1969
Height: 191 cm
Mother tongue: German
Other languages : English
International since: 1999 First international: Azerbaijan-Moldova (24.03.2001)
Hobbies: Sports fondest memory: EURO 2008 Qualifier: Greece vs Turkey; Olympic Football Tournament, Beijing 2008.
Overview: Uruguay have not conceded any goals, and look the favourite against South Korea, who lost 4-1 to Uruguay’s neighbours Argentina in their group meeting. The Republicans, or Taeguk Warriors as they are known, have shown some impressive attacking ability, which will need to be at its best if they are to breach the very tight Uruguayan defence.
Suggested Menu With Your Game:
Appetizer: As this promises to be a spicy match, Korean Kimchi is very much in order. The garlicky pepperiness is to represent the high entertainment potential of this game.
Main Course: Given that this playoff will require all of the energy of both teams, an Uruguayan Asado—or grill—should be served, accompanied with a piping hot plate of Korean Memil Guksu buckwheat noodles. The Chimichuri sauce with the grill should contain extra hot peppers!
Drink: Maté of course. Lots of Maté, strong Uruguayan green tea, to help you digest, and fight the stress of this exciting match.
Wine: After the spicy kimchi, which will certainly try and upset the heavy, strong tannins of Uruguayan wine...a powerful Tannat is recommended, preferably one at least three to four years old with heavy tannins, and the confidence necessary if Uruguay is to overcome the Kimchi and win.
Dessert: A little sweet consolation for the Koreans, who are likely to lose, in the form of the extremely sweet Yaksik—a Korean specialty served on festive occasions, made from rice, chestnuts, pine nuts, jujubes, sesame oil, and heavily sweetened with honey and brown sugar.
Unofficial Theme Song to accompany style of play: Especially when Diego Lugano and Godin wreck enemy offensive moves: Heartbreaker by Led Zeppelin
Tactics: The Uruguay manager Oscar Washington Tabarez deploys a defensive 4-3-3 system, which is very capable of counter-attacking, and can drop back to a 4-5-1 if they acquire a good lead.
Strengths: An extremely solid, very well integrated four-man defence, supported by two very capable defensive midfielders. They have a constantly improving, technically capable attack, with three different sorts of players—the tall Cavani, the dribbling Suarez, and the experienced well-rounded Forlan.
Weakness : Attack is not the primary focus of the squad, and a team strong in midfield might be able to lock them down, as did France...barely.
Key To Beating Korea : Efficiency in front of goal, and locking down the midfield...then things will happen on their own. A cautious start for Uruguay is best.
Key Squad Members:
Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera of Lazio has not allowed any goals so far in this tournament, and despite being only 23 is looking fantastic and very secure.
Central Defenders Diego Lugano and Diego Godin of Fenerbahce and Villareal respectively play fantastically together, and form an excellent defensive unit. Lugano is very dangerous going forward on corners, but hasn’t scored in South Africa yet.
Diego Perez and Egidio Arevalo were a surprise coupling in defensive midfield , but their hard work in protecting the defence from midfield has really made a mark on Uruguay’s success. Both of them are tireless over 90 minutes...if Uruguay’s coach needs additional support to attack, Sebastian Eguren of AIK Stockholm or Waler Gargano of Napoli could make a rare appearance in this World Cup.
Edinson Cavani and Luiz Suarez are the wide attackers that stretch the defence. Suarez is a star in the Dutch Eredivisie with Ajax Amsterdam and a has great off-the-ball movement and a dangerous dribble in addition to a real nose for goal...no pun intended about his nose. Cavani is a tall, but technically capable striker who plays for Palermo, but showed against Mexico that he also has great crossing ability.
The main figure is Diego Forlan , a former Manchester United player who has for several years been a top scorer in Spain first with Villareal and now with Atletico Madrid. His ability to shoot long, and his deadliness in the box are only a part of his ability, as he also acts as an important leader and playmaker for Uruguay on the pitch. Watch out for his mean guitar solo.
Unofficial Theme Song to accompany style of play: Definitely the theme song to Super Mario Brothers , given the lack of power but considerable precision.
Tactics: The Koreans deploy an efficient 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 depending on the day, and attack with skill and creativity, usually down the wings, but sometimes down the central channels between the defenders. They rely on the playmaking of Manchester United’s Park Ji Sung, but have several other players capable of constructing dangerous attacks.
Strengths: Speed and hard work, and surprising technical ability. The Taeguk Warriors move the ball around with some class. In two of their three games they have been rather resilient, despite taking a goal against Nigeria, managing to improve their defending during the course of a game.
Weaknesses: The defence has been slightly questionable, although not hopeless, really falling apart against Argentina and vulnerable to dribbles. Also have problems with the Uppa Strupa Troopers, or whatever they were called.
Key To Beating Uruguay: If they are able to present good one touch passing which will allow them to get past the taut Uruguayan midfield, and shoot accurately at the few opportunities they will get then Korea has a chance. Sitting back and defending will not work for them.
Key Squad Members:
Lee Jung Soo plays central defence but has scored two important goals for Korea. He will need to stop the Uruguayans from having too many good chances on goal today as well though. With that he has had occasional trouble, perhaps because most of his experience if from the Japanese J-League with Kashima Antlers, where he is not used to playing against top level attackers like Forlan.
Right winger and forward Lee Chung Yong of Bolton Wanderers has had a great season and a great World Cup so far, taking advantage of the attention drawn to the more famous Park Ji Sung and making decisive runs into the opponents delicate areas. Don’t be surprised by his technique.
Park Chu Young is an impressive attacker , normally playing with Monaco, who has looked dangerous in all three games so far, scoring an excellent free kick against Nigeria, and managing to get the ball forward very successfully, and even some good dribbles. Don’t expect him to dribble past the Uruguayans though.
Park Ji Sung , the Manchester United attacking midfielder, roams freely in offense, linking up the attacking moves of his colleagues and making clever passes. He gets lost if left alone against the opposition, but with Korea’s talented squad he is able to present quite a creative threat to the opposition. He scored a brilliant goal against Argentina, stealing the ball from Demichelis before firing home one on one with the goalkeeper.
The Glasgow Celtic defensive midfielder Ki Sung Yong is only 21 years old, but already is learning to win many midfield battles and bring stability to the Korean team. He has a dangerous long shot he hasn’t used in the tournament yet.
Expected Result: 3-1 for Uruguay
A Slight Surprise: 1-1 and penalties
A Real Shocker: South Korea wins this in regulation time
Obi Wan Asterix says: The Uruguayans know how to dominate a football pitch now, and South Korea is in for a very hard day. If they don’t manage to use the few opportunities they will get then Uruguay should win this easily, if they manage to score then perhaps the gates to the quarter finals will open up for them. Uruguay 2-0.