Suarez enjoys every minute

Striker's two moments of brilliance are enough for Uruguay to be the first entrant in quarters as they go past South Korea with a 2-1 victory.

Uruguay's Luis Suarez, right, celebrates after scoring the second goal during the World Cup match against South Korea at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
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PORT ELIZABETH // Luis Suarez revelled in the moment after his two goals carried Uruguay past South Korea 2-1 and to the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 40 years. "In these moments, the only thing I want to do is enjoy," the Ajax forward said. Suarez scored the winner in the 80th minute in swirling wind and rain after sidestepping two defenders and curling a right-foot shot that went in off the post from the edge of the area. "I couldn't believe it," he said. "The truth is I didn't realise the ball was going to go in." Suarez gave Uruguay the lead in the eighth minute with a shot from a tight angle after Diego Forlan's cross from the left. Chung-yong Lee equalised from a header in the 68th after goalkeeper Fernando Muslera left his line to attempt to punch away a looping ball. Uruguay won the World Cup in 1930 and 1950 but had not reached the quarter-finals since making the semis in Mexico in 1970.

"The key to Uruguay's improvement was South Korea's goal," Oscar Tabarez, the Uruguay coach, said. "We stopped thinking about not conceding a goal. Luckily, Suarez scored a spectacular goal that gave us victory." After Suarez scored his first goal, the South Koreans pushed forward, but Uruguay's compact defence forced them to rely on long-range efforts and they struggled to hit the target. Meanwhile, the South Americans sat back and waited for opportunities to catch their opponents on the break with counter-attacks. Jung-soo Lee lost the ball clumsily in the 27th - a mistake that could have been costly if Suarez had not been waved offside as he rushed toward the goal. Uruguay were denied a penalty in the 44th when Maximiliano Pereria lobbed the ball over a defender and tried for goal. TV replays showed that his volley struck Sung-yong Ki's left elbow, but the German referee Wolfgang Stark allowed play to continue. It wasn't until after the break that South Korea found avenues into Uruguay's box.

Chu-young Park sent a hard shot over the bar in the 51st and Muslera made a diving save to stop Ji-Sung Park's header seven minutes later. Lee finally scored after Uruguay failed to clear a free kick. He had another chance minutes later, but his shot was too weak and aimed directly at Muslera. "It would have been a lot better if we had played a bit smarter with a bit more confidence," Jung-moo Huh, the South Korea coach, said. "We did learn this time that we have some areas to improve on." The Koreans came close late in the game when Muslera could not hold substitute Dong-gook Lee's shot, but Diego Lugano controlled the ball as it rolled toward the goal line. Uruguay are the smallest nation remaining in the World Cup, with about 3.5 million people, or half the population of the UAE. After their early strong showings in the World Cup, Uruguay struggled to make an impact in the past four decades, with a last-16 exit in 1990 their best recent result. The success in South Africa has given them hope of restoring the nation's football glory. "I don't want to sound cocky," Tabarez said, "but I think this team is very well-prepared to take on any team." * AP Man of the match: Luis Suarez (Uruguay)