The group stage has ended in the World Cup 2010. The round of 16 has started and both South Korea and Japan qualified.
Japan will face Paraguay on Tuesday. South Korea qualified, but lost to Uruguay 2-1 on Saturday.
South Korea placed second in Group B. After a 2-0 win over Greece two weeks ago, the team fell to Argentina 4-1. In their last match of group play, South Korea tied with Nigeria 2-2.
Last Saturday in Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, South Korea and Uruguay competed for a spot in the quarter finals. Luis Suarez scored both of Uruguay’s goals, one in the 8th minute and another in the 80th. Prior to Suarez’s goal, South Korea’s Lee Chung Yong scored in the 68th minute to tie the game 1-1. Suarez’s second goal put Uruguay up for good. Uruguay moves on to face Ghana, which defeated the United States also on Saturday, 2-1 with the winning goal in overtime.
A quote from South Korea’s coach, Huh Jung-Moo, read in part:
Uruguay were just fortunate enough to get those goals. We played very well but we ought to have played a bit more intelligently. Our players never gave in and they never stopped trying to overcome the obstacles in front of them.
-- Quoted from FIFA.com
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Japan placed second in Group E. It won its opener against Cameroon 1-0. In its second game, the Netherlands won 1-0. Last Thursday, Japan defeated Denmark 3-1. If Japan wins on Tuesday in Pretoria, it will be the first time that the team is in the quarter finals. The team played well against Denmark and if it keeps up that level of play, there’s a chance for an upset.
Not to be forgotten, North Korea lost its three games in group play. First came a 2-1 loss to a Brazilian team that struggled with the North Korean defense. Next came Portugal's onslaught of goals, which ended in a 7-0 rout. This was the so-called Group of Death, afterall. North Korea, if only slightly, redeemed itself by losing 3-0 to Ivory Coast.
With Australia having placed last in its group, Japan is the sole representative from the Asian region. Their Tuesday match against Paraguay starts at 4:00 p.m. in South Africa, 11:00 p.m. in Japan, and 7:00 a.m. Pacific in the United States.