by Tom Allen
The last 16 gets underway on Saturday afternoon when Uruguay take on South
Korea and we've barely had time to draw breath since the culmination of the
Uruguay topped Group A at these finals thanks to three powerful displays and
are yet to conceded a gaol in South Africa. They now face a talented South Korea
side and, with the draw having opened right up for this pair, both will be
eyeing an appearance in the semi-finals.
The winner of this second round match will face either Ghana or USA for a
place in the last four and it is the South Americans that are favoured to
A general 10/11 chance to win the game inside 90 minutes, Uruguay's prolific
front pairing of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez could well prove the difference
and I certainly make them favourites also.
Uruguay kicked-off their campaign with a fairly uneventful goalless draw
against France before registering impressive wins over South Africa and Mexico,
3-0 and 1-0 respectively, and in Forlan possess one of the tournament's hottest
A brace versus the hosts from Forlan reminded the world just what the
Manchester United misfit is capable of and South Korea will have to be on their
guard to nullify any threat posed by the striker.
South Korea themselves advanced to the last 16 thanks to a 2-2 draw with
Nigeria in their final Group B match but we saw their limitations exposed when
thrashed 4-1 by Argentina, Gonzalo Higuain scoring a hat-trick, and it could
well be that the 2010 crop of South American sides is a very good one indeed.
Uruguay only qualified for South Africa via a two-legged playoff win over
Costa Rica but they have proven themselves to be one of the very best teams on
show so far and are now just a 12/1 chance with VC Bet to lift the trophy.
There are certainly more high profile matches taking place in the first
knockout round as the tournament reaches the business end but perhaps not many
better wages than the shade of odds on about Forlan leading his men into the
quarter-finals and Uruguay are certainly the strongest team left in this
South Korea's opening 2-0 win over the hapless Greece ultimately didn't stand
the test of time and have Obafemi Martins' shocking late miss in their clash
with the Nigerians to thank for their place at this stage of the tournament.
2pts Back Uruguay (vs. South Korea) @ 10/11 (Bluesq)