Friday, June 25, 2010

World Cup 2010: Round of 16 Previews- June 26

Uruguay vs. South Korea
The Round of 16 begins Saturday in Port Elizabeth as Group A winners Uruguay face Group B runners-up South Korea. The match-up pairs two well-drilled sides agains one another. Uruguay did not concede a goal in three matches against France, South Africa and Mexico, with Diego Forlan contributing two of the team's four goals. South Korea will look to duplicate their semifinal run of eight years ago after a 1-1-1 trip through Group B. A win over Greece was followed by a loss to Argentina and a clinching draw against Nigeria. Lee-Jung Soo leads the teams with two goals.

Look for an early goal from Uruguay to open up the flow of the match. The Koreans will scrap back, but in the end, Uruguay moves on to the quarterfinals.

Prediction: Uruguay 2, South Korea 1

United States vs. Ghana
You might have heard that the United States won a fairly important soccer game Wednesday. Their reward is a trip to Rustenburg and a rematch with Ghana, the squad that KOed them from the 2006 World Cup in the group stages. The Stars and Stripes came from behind twice, drawing with England and Slovenia before posting a 1-0 win over Algeria to win Group C. Ghana finished second in Group D, defeating Serbia and drawing with Australia to earn four points, before falling 1-0 to Germany.

Have Landon Donovan and company put the euphoria of Wednesday's match behind them? With just a two-day break, the opening minutes, always a dicey time for the U.S., will be critical. Survive those, and Bob Bradley's team will find a way to scratch out a win.

Prediction: USA 1, Ghana 0

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