Selasa, 22 Juni 2010

Group A: Uruguay top group, South Africa & France out

Its decision time. Will Uruguay & Mexico go through or do South Africa and France still have a chance.

(matches to kick off simultaneously)

Mexico 0-1 (0-1) Uruguay
Goals: 0-1 Hugo Suarez (43').

Former world champions Uruguay beat Mexico 1-0 to finish top of Group A. There had been fears that the match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg could end in a tame draw as it would mean both sides would move on, but that wasn't going to happen. Especially with Uruguay continuing where they had left off against South Africa. The South Americans scored the golden goal in the 43th minute through a Hugo Suarez header.

After the break Uruguay could have doubled the lead, but it stayed the same way and Mexico also had chances to equalise knowing that South Africa was closing in on them on goal difference. But in the end it didn't matter as the match ended 1-0 for Uruguay.

France 1-2 (0-2) South Africa

Hosts South Africa beat a disjointed France 2-1, but it just wasn't enough to qualify for the knockout stages. As the first ever hosts South Africa did not make it to the next round. But at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein the hosts played a heartening game against a French side which was happy once the match and the tournament was over. France might have been better off not qualifying for the World Cup the way they did against Ireland.

It initially was an open game but no real chances. Then the hosts went ahead in the 20th minute through a Bongani Khumalo header after French keeper Hugo Lloris couldn't get to the ball off a corner. France were reduced to ten men when Yoann Gourcuff was send off in the 26th minute for clashing in the air with MacBeth Sibaya having rammed his elbow into the South African player. Surprisingly referee Oscar Julian Ruiz Acosta from Columbia showed the Bordeaux player the red card and once more the game was over for one of the teams. France thereafter just didn't show the spirit needed to fight back as South Africa doubled the lead in the 37th minute through Katlego Mphela.

With Uruguay going ahead against Mexico, South Africa came out of the break with some hope that they could pull it off. But Mphela would be the main culprit as South Africa couldn't score any more goals though the chances were there. France where actually able to reduce the deficit in the 70th minute through a Florent Malouda goal off a square pass from Franck Ribery. This goal ended all hopes of South Africa sneaking into the pre-quarterfinals.

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