Group H of the 2022 World Cup begins today Uruguay meets South Korea with the game taking place at Education City Stadium Ghana and Portugal the other teams in the group.
Speaking before today’s clash, Uruguay boss Diego Alonso believes he has the “best players in the world” whose fierce national pride makes them contenders for another World Cup run than the eternal dark horses.
Alonso said there was excitement and enthusiasm in a team that had prepared superbly going into the three games in Group H, where they also meet Ghana and Portugal.
“Uruguay players are the best in the world, they defend us through thick and thin, The most important tool we have is the feeling the Uruguayan players have, how they identify, the sense of belonging they have.”
World champions of 1930 and 1950, Uruguay, a nation of just 3.5 million people, have a knack for causing a stir and putting on long runs in their 14 appearances in the tournament, making them wildcards every time, and a team that big names hope to avoid.
Republic of Korea manager Paul Bento assured worried fans that Tottenham’s son Hueng-min would play with a protective face mask after undergoing surgery to stabilize a fracture around his left eye in the Group H opener.
“Sonny will be able to play,” Bento told reporters Wednesday. “I think the fact that he will be wearing a mask is not an inconvenience to him, it comes naturally to him. When we got here we stuck to the plan… But we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.
“We hope he’s as comfortable as possible and uses the best strategy to make him feel comfortable throughout the game. He knows and we know we can’t take any chances after his injury.”
Bento confirmed that Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Hwang Hee-chan had not recovered in time for the game, while the team are set to take a late call to defender Kim Jin-su.
How and where to watch and follow Thursday’s games
Uruguay-South Korea: match official
French referee Clement Turpin has been assigned to referee today’s duel in Education City. The 39-year-old Frenchman has been an international referee since 2010 and is the youngest official to receive this recognition from FIFA, back in 2009 when he was included in the elite list. He is also the youngest referee ever to referee a final of the Coupe de France while overseeing Lille’s 1-0 win over PSG in 2011.
Turpin also refereed last season’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Paris and is joined today by Assistant Referee 1, Nicolas Danos, Assistant Referee 2, Cyril Gringore, while Istvan Kovacs acts as the fourth official.