Uruguay 1st team to advance to WC quarterfinals
Uruguay became the first team to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup on Saturday thanks to an exquisite curling shot from Luis Suarez that made nonsense of criticism of the ball used in South Africa.sports Updated: Jun 26, 2010 23:05 IST
Uruguay became the first team to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup on Saturday thanks to an exquisite curling shot from Luis Suarez that made nonsense of criticism of the ball used in South Africa.
With organizers predicting a "perfect" tournament if everything remains on track, Uruguay beat South Korea 2-1 in Port Elizabeth, with two goals from Suarez. He scored early in the first half, but Lee Chung-yong equalized in the 68th minute for the Asian team in a game played in torrential rain.
With only 10 minutes remaining, Suarez struck a curling shot from the edge of the penalty area that deflected in off the far post to send Uruguay to a last-eight match against the United States or Ghana.
"I'm really happy because being young I always dream of these types of moments," Suarez said. "These moments we're experiencing are once in a lifetime."
Later Saturday, the United States plays Ghana at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
The South African police officer in charge of security at the Germany-England match on Sunday in Bloemfontein has promised a "no nonsense" approach to crowd trouble and said that relaxed alcohol laws could make his job harder.
Lt. Gen. Amon Mashigo said riot police, water cannons and helicopters will be on standby for the World Cup second round match Sunday and the army could also be mobilized.
"We will be seizing control of the whole city as of tonight (Saturday)," Mashigo told The Associated Press. "To sum it up, it's a no nonsense approach. Definitely, nobody will dare do anything stupid."
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and Danny Jordaan, CEO of the local organizing committee, appeared at a news conference to assess the tournament at its halfway point.
"We had a difficult start on the 11th of June due to transportation issues," Valcke said. "Also, I think it was a lack of coordination between different groups - the police, transport, the protocol, etc. But since then, I think that we have been able to solve all the issues.
"If on the 11th of the July we are at the same level that we are today, I would say it's a perfect World Cup."
FIFA is also watching the fallout in France over the team's failure to progress out of the group stage and said it won't hesitate to suspend the national federation if it discovers government interference in the running of the sport. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed to personally investigate the French team's disastrous World Cup campaign and met with other officials this week to discuss ways to reform French football.
First Published: Jun 26, 2010 23:02 IST