Watch Live on: ESPN, ESPN3.com, MobileTV
10:00 AM ET, June 26, 2010
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
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South Korea: L-D-L-W
South Korea-Uruguay Preview
Uruguay and South Korea have turned in somewhat surprising runs to reach the knockout stage, but there's a tremendous opportunity to advance much further for both of them when they open the round of 16 on Saturday in Port Elizabeth.While Uruguay is a two-time World Cup champion, its last title came in 1950. La Celeste haven't truly been a world power since, now bidding for their first quarterfinal berth since 1970.South Korea, meanwhile, failed to reach the knockout stage in 2006 after stunning the world with a run to the semifinals on home soil four years earlier.Uruguay won Group A and South Korea finished as the runner-up to Argentina in Group B to set up this matchup. One of these teams will face the winner of the unlikely quarterfinal between the United States and Ghana, leaving a path to the semifinals wide open."I'm not sure what our new goal is but we'll just try to win the next match," midfielder Park Ji-Sung said. "It really is fantastic to write a new chapter in the history of Korean football."Uruguay has not conceded a goal in winning two matches and drawing one. A difficult 1-0 victory over Mexico on Tuesday gave La Celeste the top spot, and helped them avoid Argentina in this round."The important thing is that we qualified in first place," striker Diego Forlan said. "They controlled the ball well and in truth it was quite hard for us."South Korea clinched its spot in the round of 16 with a 2-all draw against Nigeria on Tuesday. The Taegeuk Warriors became the first Asian side to advance to the knockout stage twice."Asian football is on the up," coach Huh Jung-Moo said. "But there's still a gap between us and the rest of the world, and we need to work harder to close the gap."Both sides have thrived using an attacking style, which should make for an entertaining matchup.Forlan, who scored 32 goals two years ago for Atletico Madrid to win top European scoring honors, already has tallied twice. All of Uruguay's goals have come since Edinson Cavani was inserted into the lineup as a third striker alongside Luis Suarez for the second match against South Africa.The South Koreans have been led by Manchester United midfielder Park, while defender Lee Jung-Soo has been opportunistic with two goals.South Korea will have to try to break its hex against South American foes in the World Cup, having lost three matches and drawn one. That drought continued with a 4-1 loss in group play to Argentina, which defeated Uruguay twice in South American qualifying.Uruguay is 4-0-1 all-time against South Korea, winning 1-0 in the 1990 World Cup on Daniel Fonseca's goal in the 90th minute that put La Celeste into the round of 16.