Welcome, football fans. Once again, Bryan Sakakeeny here broadcasting from the temporary soccer capital of the world in North Andover, Massachusetts to bring you live coverage of the Round of 16, beginning with today's first matchup: Uruguay vs. South Korea.
Now, we all love when group play kicks off, but after two weeks of predominantly cagey matches culminating with Brazil and Portugal putting me to sleep via a scoreless draw, it's safe to say we're all ready for the knockout stages to begin.
We've got an interesting and no doubt entertaining game in the hopper today, Uruguay entered the World Cup as dark horse to advance in second place out of Group A behind either Mexico or France, a result that would've pitted them against Argentina today. Likewise, South Korea probably fancied their chances getting out of Group B in the second position, but were expecting to meet the France of old in the knockout stage.
So surprises all around, and subsequently a great draw for both teams.
There are loads of questions pertaining to this match as it is very much a "wait and see" type of game, be sure to log in and give your two cents on the matter.
As always, enjoy the match!
What a great way to start the Round of 16. Sheer ecstacy for the Uruguayans as it took late heroics to see them through. Disappointment for the South Koreans on the other end as they played a great second half and were able to pull themselves even before being heartbroken.
The rain continues to pour down but it isn't dampening the spirits of the Uruguayans one bit, they're on to the quarter-finals!
93'- Slippery surface not helping South Korea as they frantically search for the late equalizer.
91'- Sung-Ryong's had himself a good second half after botching that cross in the first half that led to the goal. What a shame the second goal was nearly impossible to save
90'- Three minutes to be added on.
90'- The same Lee Dong-Gook is penalized in the box for throwing his weight around a bit too much, that one made me think, I thought he called a penalty.
87'- NOO! Lee Dong-Gook takes advantage of Uruguayan confusion and finds himself in like Flynn in goal. He shoots it right at Muslera but it slips through and dribbles to the goalline before it's cleared away.
85'- Ki Sung Yong off for Yeon Ki Hun
84'- The man who made it twice as nice, Luis Suarez, comes off for Alvaro Fernandez.
83'- No disrespect to Adrian Healey, but it's times like these when I miss Ray Hudson.
80'- YES! MAGIC FROM SUAREZ! Suarez collects a ball off of a corner, cuts towards the middle and fires a magical strike that bends into the side netting, a sublime strike that no goalkeeper in the world could have gotten to. What a game from the unofficial scoring champion of Europe.
80'- Rain really starting to come down as this match reaches a dramatic climax.
79'- Uruguay has responded well since South Korea's goal. Do they have enough to score after defending for that long?
76'- Alvaro Pereira off for Nicolas Lodeiro.
74'- Suarez! A golden chance to become a national hero is squandered by an awkward header, he was all alone with the keeper at his mercy.
71'- Chung-Yong again! Loads of space on the right side, he basically gets a free crack at Muslera but shoots it right at him.
68'- GOLGOLGOLGOL! Chung-Yong finds himself all alone in the penalty box with a deflected ball heading right towards his way. He almost cautiously leaps at it and what do you know? Headed right into the back of the net past the charging Muslera. South Korea have equalized!
66'- Robbie Mustoe admitted he's a Boston Celtics fan, cash money.
64'- South Korea continuing to force the issue, ground cross from the wing somehow finds its way into the middle but it's cleared away by Lugano.
61'- Lee Dong-Gook comes on for Kim Jae-Sung.
59'- So nearly! Du-Ri with a first time cross into the area, Park Ji-Sung with a great header, he brings a diving save out of Muslera at the near post.
55'- South Korea pouring men forward but Uruguay have pulled almost everyone back, it's trench warfare at the moment.
51'- Oh! Chu-Young yet again. Ball from a free kick lands right at his feet. He hits it on the volley under no pressure but sails it high. Great chance, but he should have made Muslera work.
50'- Young-Pyo with a lovely run from the back, dangerous cross is brilliantly flicked on but the Uruguayan defense is cool under pressure again.
49'- Sloppy pass at the back from South Korea, cut out by Suarez who fancies it from long rage, easy stop for Sung-Ryong.
46'- Second half change as Mauricio Victorino comes on in a straight swap for Godin at centre back.
Uruguay have a lead, but in all truth it's pretty slender as South Korea have constructed some good attacks. They'll need to start getting that last pass through or else Uruguay is going to torch them on the break.
Entertaining game so far, let's hope for more of the same in the second half.
46'- Replay shows Pereira's shot did strike a South Korean arm, happened very quickly for the ref to see it, tough call.
45'- Chu-Young with a free kick in almost the same area as his other kick. This one's a lot less dangerous. Du-Ri with another long range attempt off of the deflection.
44'- Uruguay breaks again, Pereira receives it in the middle and flicks it over a South Korean defender, lovely bit of skill but he's tackled.
41'- Du-Ri spots Muslera off of his line and buys a lottery ticket from a good 30 yards out. Muslera looked a bit worried for a minute but the ball dips in behind the bar.
39'- Forlan picks out Suarez off a free kick, pin-point accuracy on the delivery but the flick isn't strong enough and Sung-Ryong says thank you very much.
38'- Chu-Young dispossesses the Uruguayan defense, puts a ball in that made you think, but Muslera collects.
35'- Emphatic touch from Chung-Young, but no one is there on the end of it. South Korea coming to life here towards the end of the first half.
32'- Chu-Young, again! Cutting in from across the flank he fires a shot but it bends wide, good attempt as he had Muslera at full stretch.
30'- Cavani with a bad giveaway, Park Ji-Sung comes screaming up the flank, perhaps he ran out of gas as his cutback doesn't quite make it into a dangerous area. Both teams showing they can make the opposition pay if they make a mistake.
27'- Jung-Soo with a risky move at the back, Suarez picks up the ball with miles of space and no one around him, but he's called offsides.
24'- Quickened pace coming in bunches, everytime S. Korea goes forward, of course Uruguay try to run the break, it's quite cyclical.
23'- Game has settled down since Chu-Young's fee kick and Suarez's tally. A chance from either side would really help to infuse this game with excitement again.
20'- Uruguay will really benefit from having the early lead. They love to absorb pressure then hit their attackers on the break.
17'- Forlan's had a great tournament, but his hair has been equally as impressive. So consistent from game to game. Surely he must be a Pantene man?
12'- Uruguay are off to a quick start, but the game has sustained a quick pace thus far, can South Korea find a quick strike?
8'- GOALLL! Long, rolling cross across the face of goal from Forlan, South Korea defense was rooted to the spot. Sung-Ryong can't get to it either, Luis Suarez was on the end of it and he buries it into the side netting from a tough angle.
5'- Chu-Young! Great bending shot that comes off the near side post, Muslera was toast (and he knew it). Asian teams are seemingly the only sides that are making good out of their free kicks.
4'- Park Chu-Young, standing over a free kick in a dangerous area.
2'- Ji-Sung bursting forward, but unable to find a teammate, great start to the match.
1'- Nervy touch at the back from South Korea, weak back pass but it's eventually slept away.
9:59EST- We're off in Port Elizabeth, "June Lunacy" as Adrian Healey nicknamed it, is underway.
9:57EST- National anthems are over, let's blow this popsicle stand.
9:54EST- South American and Asian teams have faired very well so far in this World Cup, so both teams will fancy that fate is on their side in 2010.
9:52EST- Adrian Healey links up with Robbie Mustoe, ESPN pulling out all the stops in the commentary box.
9:46EST- Both teams are similar in that they have a key "Batman and Robin" combination. Uruguay's Forlan and Suarez look to counter South Korea's Chu-Young and Ji-Sung.
9:42EST- We're live and ready to kick off the knockout rounds!
Sung-Ryong (bear with me on these hyphenations)