Suarez insists Uruguay 'have what it takes to beat the best' after topping Group A

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The Independent Football

Luis Suarez insists Uruguay have "what it takes" to go far at the World Cup after they ended the opening stage of the competition by topping Group A.

The Ajax striker was the hero in their final first-round game, scoring the only goal to hand his side a 1-0 win over Mexico in Rustenburg on Tuesday.

It helped them end the group with seven points, three ahead of El Tri, who also qualified, while hosts South Africa and France were knocked out.

Suarez was thrilled with his own performance, but was more satisfied by the way the team was shaping up ahead of their last 16 match with South Korea. He said: "The game went very well. We've already had two good results [a draw against France and win over South Africa], but our goal was to also to get the three points today. Now that we got them, we finish first in the group. I'm really happy, especially because I scored my first World Cup goal. It's an incredible feeling! As far as the result goes, we achieved what we set out to do."

The 23-year-old, who has 10 goals in 32 appearances for his country, was also not too worried about whichever team they faced next or what may lie ahead later in the competition, saying "to be the best, we had to beat the best".

He added: "It doesn't matter now who our next opponents are. We got what it takes to keep progressing in the competition. It's great that I scored, but for us it was important to win the group, no matter who scores. This time I got the chance and I'm very happy."

His strike partner Diego Forlan was also pleased with the goal, saying: "It was a good goal, very well taken by Luis. We're pleased with the win, but what really matters is that we went through in first place in the group."

The former Manchester United frontman also paid tribute to Mexico, but believes the 43rd-minute strike came at a crucial time. "It wasn't an easy game by any means," he said. "Mexico keep the ball well and, to tell you the truth, they made life very difficult for us. Fortunately, we struck at the right time, just before the interval and that gave us the composure we needed to see out the game."

The Mexico forward Giovani dos Santos felt his side had plenty to do if they were to beat Argentina in the next round. He said: "We've got a lot of things to work on. It's vital for us to set the record straight as a team from now on."

His fellow striker Carlos Vela has recovered from injury and will be available for his country's last 16 meeting with Argentina, a team spokesman said. Vela went off against France last week with a leg problem, also missing the defeat to Uruguay which secured Mexico's place in the first knockout round.