The Uruguayans, two-time world champions, came to Qatar with big ambitions. In the last three championships, each time they played in the knockout stages. In 2010, they were fourth, four years later they were eliminated in the round of 16, four years ago in Russia in the quarter-finals, where they beat eventual champions France 2-0.
Diego Alonso, who was reborn after arriving at the selector’s position La Celeste, has a mix of very experienced players and youngsters in the lineup, who are hopeful for a bright future in Uruguayan football. Facundo Pellistri and Darwin Nunez start in attack alongside Luis Suarez. Fede Valverde is excellent in midfield, while defender Ronald Araujo has not yet recovered from an injury and will miss the first two games of the World Cup.
South Korea is playing in the World Cup for the tenth time in a row. She finished the last two World Cups after the group stage, and achieved her greatest success in 2002 at her home tournament, when she was fourth. First star Son Hueng-min is fit and in the official starting line-up after a facial injury Asian tigersled by former Portuguese international Paulo Bento.