Saturday, April 20, 2024

Suarez brace sinks South Korea


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PORT ELIZABETH – Luis Suarez scored in each half yesterday to help Uruguay beat South Korea 2-1 and advance to the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 40 years.Suarez, who had five shots on target, scored the winner in the 80th minute in swirling wind and rain after sidestepping two defenders and curling a right-foot shot off the post from the edge of the area.“I couldn’t believe it,” Suarez said of the goal. “The truth is I didn’t realise the ball was going to go in. In these moments, the only thing I want to do is enjoy.”Suarez gave Uruguay the lead in the eighth with a shot from a tight angle after Diego Forlan’s cross from the left. Lee Chung-yong equalised from a header in the 68th after goalkeeper Fernando Muslera left his line to attempt to punch away a looping ball.Crushed, the South Koreans fell to their knees at the final whistle as the Uruguayans celebrated becoming the first team to reach the quarter-finals with a group hug in pouring rain in Port Elizabeth.The Uruguayans, twice world champions, had not reached the quarter-finals at the World Cup since making the semi-finals in 1970.“The key to Uruguay’s improvement was South Korea’s goal,” Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said. “We stopped thinking about not conceding a goal. Luckily, Suarez scored a spectacular goal that gave us victory.”Park Chu-young sent a 22-yard free kick off the post before Suarez’s first goal. The South Koreans pushed forward, but Uruguay’s compact defence forced them to rely on outside shots and they struggled to hit the target. Meanwhile, the South Americans sat back and waited for opportunities to stun their opponents with speedy counter-attacks.Lee Jung-soo lost the ball clumsily in the 27th – a mistake that could have been costly if Suarez had not been waved offside as he rushed toward the goal.Uruguay were denied a penalty in the 44th when Maximiliano Pereria lobbed the ball over a defender and tried for goal. TV replays showed his volley struck Ki Sung-yong’s left elbow, but German referee Wolfgang Stark allowed play to continue. (AP)Line-ups Uruguay – Fernando Muslera, Diego Lugano, Diego Godin (Mauricio Victorino, 46), Jorge Fucile, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez (Alvaro Fernandez, 84), Diego Forlan, Alvaro Pereira (Nicolas Lodeiro, 74), Diego Perez, Maximiliano Pereira, Egidio Arevalo.South Korea – Jung Sung-ryong, Cho Yong-hyung, Park Ji-sung, Kim Jung-woo, Park Chu-young, Lee Young-pyo, Kim Jae-sung (Lee Dong-gook, 61), Lee Jung-soo, Ki Sung-yong (Yeom Ki-hun, 85), Lee Chung-yong, Cha Du-ri.


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