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Diego determined to claim scalp of South American foes

11:00 10 June 2015

West Ham United

West Ham United's Diego Poyet (pic: Stephen Pond/PA)

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Hammers midfielder reflects on time in New Zealand for World under-20 Cup and previews last 16 clash with Brazil

West Ham United’s Diego Poyet is excited about the prospect of his Uruguay side facing South American rivals Brazil in the last 16 of the World under-20 Cup in New Zealand tomorrow (Thursday).

The 20-year-old helped his country progress from a tough Group D by drawing with Mali at the weekend and finishing with four points from their three matches.

Uruguay will now meet their South American foes and a difficult encounter is predicted. Brazil won all three matches in Group E scoring nine goals and conceding just three.

Poyet will face a relatively familiar face in tomorrow’s last 16 clash as Manchester United’s Andreas Pereira is in Brazil’s squad and the Hammers ace knows Pereira and co will make it hard for Uruguay.

“We’ve drawn Brazil, whom so far have had a really good World Cup scoring lots of goals,” Poyet told whufc.com.

“It will be a tough game, but one that we will not shy away from, especially even more so as they are from South America too.”

Poyet will hope he has done enough to keep his starting place for the game against Brazil in Hamilton.

The Hammers ace had been a substitute in Uruguay’s first two fixtures – a 1-0 success against Serbia and a 2-1 defeat to Mexico. But he was given an opportunity from the off against Mali and played the full 90 minutes.

Poyet was pleased to help his team progress from the group, considering the calibre of teams involved.

He added: “The game against Mali was tough. I started off playing in midfield and then had to play the last 30 minutes at centre back.

“But we knew a draw would get us through and we saw the game out well.

“The team is very happy to have gone through, in which was by far the toughest group. Anyone in the group could have gone through and we’re very pleased.”

Poyet will now aim to help his side go even further.

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