Uruguay and South Korea face off on Thursday to kick off their World Cup in a Group H soccer showdown at the Education City Stadium.
Diego Alonso has taken over the Uruguay team and there have been a lot of positive results that have happened since the change. Uruguay had to win the last four games of the World Cup to qualify, and they won each of those games to get here. On September 27th they faced off against Canada in a friendly, and they were able to secure a 2-0 victory. Nicolas de la Cruz opened up the scoring in the 6th minute. They only had two shots on goal, but both went in the back of the net. He is still recovering from a thigh injury, and it’s unclear if he’s going to start in this game. It wouldn’t be shocking if Uruguay decides to rest him for a couple of games. The other big question is who will start in goal. For the last decade-plus Fernando Muslera has been the man, under Alonso, Sergio Rochet has gotten many starts.
On the other side of this matchup is South Korea, which has high hopes for this tournament, but their success might depend on injury information. South Korea faced off against Iceland on Friday in a lead up to the World Cup, and they were able to secure a 1-0 victory. Song Min-Kyu scored in the 33rd minute, and that was enough to secure the win. Son Heung-min is still recovering from an eye injury, but he made it clear heading into the World Cup that he was willing to risk it to start in this game. The team has made the decision that he will play in this game and that is going to be a big boost for this team. Kim Min-jae is a strong defender and will need to be a key here.
Even with Son playing, I don’t see how South Korea has much of a chance in this game. Uruguay has too much offensive firepower, and no matter who starts in goal, South Korea is going to have issues scoring. Look for Uruguay to score two or more goals, and that will be enough to secure the victory here.