What: FIFA 2010 World Cup
Who: Uruguay vs South Korea (Last 16)
When: Saturday 26th June, 2010, at 15:00 UK Time
Where: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

20 Years in the Making

Out of all the World Cup winning nations, past and present, Uruguay have been far and away the most inconsistent. Since the last of their two World Cup wins in 1950, Uruguay have only reached the semi-finals once, the quarter-finals once, and the last 16 twice in seven campaigns since. Hardly the kind of form fans have come to expect of former World Cup winners. But now, after topping a group which contained hosts South Africa and 1998 champions France, hopes are high for a return to the limelight.

Oscar Tabarez’s men have done what has become archetypically Uruguayan, building attacks on a solid defence. Captain Diego Lugano has been inspiring for his team and has definitely been key to their three clean sheets. Couple that with the attacking threat of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez, and it’s easy to see why the South Americans have a successful formula. Uruguay are the only team so far to go unbeaten with no goals scored against them. They are perfectly poised for a big World Cup.

The Pride of Asia

South Korea have been an inspiration so far, providing their footballing public with some entertaining football strung together with some impressive results. After their opening group win against Greece, the Taeguk Warriors were taught a lesson in humility by Argentina, but found enough strength to bounce back with a good result against Nigeria in their final group game.

The legacy of Dutch supremo Guus Hiddink is still present in the current day Koreans as their never-say-die attitude is combined with a very Dutch style of movement and passing. The South Korean captain Park Ji-Sung has been immense, with some all action performances ranging from attacking brilliance to commitment in defence. Park along with Lee Chung-Yong have truly caused havoc for their opponents.

Optimism will linger in the air in Seoul as their work rate often edges contests in their favour.

Recent form

Uruguay 0–0 France (11/06; World Cup – Group A)
South Africa 0–3 Uruguay (16/06; World Cup – Group A)
Mexico 0–1 Uruguay (22/06; World Cup – Group A)

South Korea:
South Korea 2–0 Greece (12/06; World Cup – Group B)
Argentina 4–1 South Korea (17/06; World Cup – Group B)
Nigeria 2–2 South Korea (22/06; World Cup – Group B))

Players to watch

Uruguay – Luis Suarez: The Ajax striker has been on fire