Godin a doubt for Ghana quarter-final

KIMBERLEY - Uruguay defender Diego Godin is doubtful for their quarter-final clash with Ghana on Friday, coach Oscar Tabarez said.

Godin, a stalwart in a backline that has conceded only one goal in four matches, sustained a thigh injury in the 2-1 victory over South Korea.

He had trained separately for the first 15 minutes of a practice session on Monday, jogging round the pitch with fellow Diegos Forlan and Perez.

Asked about Godin's condition on Tuesday, Tabarez said: "It is the doctor who should be speaking. He (Godin) is recuperating. We still don't know if he will play or not."

Should Godin fail to start, Tabarez can rely on Mauricio Victorino who came on for him at halftime against South Korea and put in a solid performance.

Forlan and Perez are fit to play, Tabarez said, but took part in light training because the former has a bruised toenail and the latter did not wanted to aggravate the stitches in a cut he sustained in the South Korea game.

Uruguay's solid defence and speedy attack has got them to the last eight for the first time in 40 years and emotions back home are running high.


La Celeste won the World Cup in 1930 and 1950 and the country's three million people are desperate for a return to the glory days.

But Tabarez, a former school teacher who is known as The Master, said he was concentrating on the job at hand.

"It is an important game for the Uruguayan nation but, for me, I don't like to think about this. I like to concentrate. It is not good to think too far ahead."

Striker Forlan, with two goals to his credit in the tournament, said the Uruguayan players were rested and relaxed but they were not underestimating Ghana.

"They are fast, strong. They did well in other games, even against Germany," he told reporters.

He also denied the suggestion that there was any rivalry between him and fellow striker Luis Suarez, who has scored three times in South Africa so far.

"I have a good relationship with Luis and I'm happy to see him score. We have a collective objective, not personal. We just want to help the team," Forlan said.

Tabarez said the team had completed their preparations for the Ghana game and would fly out of Kimberley, their base camp, on Wednesday afternoon for Johannesburg.

They will not return even if they reach the semi-final because they do not want to waste time travelling.

Dozens of Kimberley residents were allowed to watch the start of Tuesday afternoon's training session and the players chatted to them and signed shirts, Uruguay flags and balls to the delight of the local children.

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