Port Elizabeth, South Africa The game on the line, Luis Suarez sidestepped two defenders in the driving rain and struck a right-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area.
“The truth is, I didn’t realize the ball was going to go in,” he said.
It did. And now Uruguay is headed to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in 40 years after beating South Korea, 2-1, on Saturday.
Suarez, who had Uruguay’s only goal in its 1-0 group stage win over Mexico, scored twice against the Koreans — early in the first half and again in the 80th with the score tied 1-1.
“In these moments, the only thing I want to do is enjoy,” said Suarez, who jumped over a row of photographers to celebrate his second goal with his teammates.
Lee Chung-yong had tied the second-round game in the 68th on a header after goalkeeper Fernando Muslera left his line attempting to punch away a looping ball. It was the first goal given up by Uruguay in the tournament.
“The key to Uruguay’s improvement (at end of game) was South Korea’s goal. We stopped thinking about not conceding a goal,” Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said.
“Luckily, Suarez scored a spectacular goal that gave us victory.”