Uruguay braces against 'quick winger' Danes

Uruguay take on Denmark in their World Cup opener on Saturday in Ulsan, South Korea.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Cheonan, South Korea:

Uruguay has only one thing on its mind -- controlling the speed of Denmark in their World Cup opener on Saturday in Ulsan, South Korea. Denmark and defending World Cup champion France have been installed as the favourites in Group B where Uruguay and Senegal are also grouped. Diego Forlan, who moved to Manchester United this season from Independiente de Argentina, knows the Danes and the European style of play. "Like all the European teams, Denmark is quick and strong. We have to be careful not to let them kick the long ball because they have quick wingers who can chase it down," he said. Midfielder Gustavo Varela tried to build his club's confidence by reminding that the South American side had won the World Cup twice -- 1930 and 1950. "We have to remember one thing. Uruguay is a great soccer country and we have always played an important role.'' Uruguay's key forward Alvaro Recoba, who left the training ground on Tuesday with a right knee injury, seemed better on Wednesday. But team spokesman Heber Gonzalez said "the hard training pitch'' didn't help the injury. Recoba, who plays for Inter Milan, warned his teammates. "We can't gamble, that could kill us. Winning means we'll advance, losing makes everything tougher.'' Coach Victor Pua said he wasn't sure if Uruguay was among the favorites in the group. "I don't know if we are favorites or not,'' he said. "We'll find out on the field who is better. We're ready to have a good World Cup.'' Pua is having trouble getting his midfield set with Fabian O'Neill set to miss out with a left heel injury and be replaced by Gianni Guigou. "It's a shame about O'Neill because he is a very good playmaker and a great player, but we have other great players,'' Pua said. (AP)