Daniel Fonseca made his World Cup debut a dramatic one and lifted Uruguay into the second round.
The 20-year-old substitute headed in a long free kick by Alfonso Dominguez with only seconds to go for a 1-0 victory over South Korea at Udine, Italy, on Thursday. Uruguay had to win to advance for the first time in 20 years.
“I looked up and thanked God,” Fonseca said after giving Latin American teams a five-for-five record in qualifying for the second round this year. “My job when I was sent in was to score a goal and get Uruguay qualified. When I came on, I was determined to do my best and I succeeded.”
Uruguay succeeded despite playing poorly.
“We played very badly, but we obtained the result,” Coach Oscar Tabarez said. “We failed in all major aspects--in strategy, technique, tactics. Now we’ll have to study the problems.”
The win gave Uruguay three points and third place in Group E, good enough to put it among the four best third-place teams. Uruguay, a major power and two-time champion, had gone winless in 11 World Cup games since reaching the semifinals in 1970.
The Uruguayans struggled against the foul-prone South Koreans, twice hitting the post and never finding the target despite several easy chances.
Fonseca was sent on in the 62nd minute to replace star striker Ruben Sosa. He leaped over two Koreans to get his head on the winning goal, then ran into the arms of his teammates and team officials.
South Korea committed 40 fouls to prevent the Uruguayans from getting into their stride. The tactic almost worked.
Spain 2, Belgium 1--Spain was annoyed that it wasn’t seeded ahead of Belgium in Group E at the World Cup. So the Spanish went out and proved their point Thursday with a victory at Verona.
Spain broke through a makeshift Belgian defense for two first-half goals, on a penalty kick by Michel--his tournament-leading fourth goal--and on a header by Alberto Gorriz off Michel’s free kick.
That was enough to offset midfielder Patrick Vervoort’s free kick that sneaked through a gap in the Spanish wall in the 31st minute.
It also was enough to give Spain first place in the group, setting up a meeting with Yugoslavia in the second round. Belgium wound up second.
“I said we had a team that could beat Belgium,” Spanish Coach Luis Suarez said. “We came out very relaxed and confident.”
Michel’s goal broke open what had been a clean but dull match between two teams already qualified for the second round.
Spain controlled the ball in the first half, but both teams had an equal number of scoring chances.
Belgium pressed hard for the entire second half and threw away a chance for a tie when Enzo Scifo banged a penalty shot off the crossbar in the 60th minute. A tie would have given Belgium first place.
Spanish goalie Andoni Zubizarreta did the rest with his third outstanding performance of the tournament.
Spain avenged a penalty-kick shootout loss to Belgium in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals.