Suarez's header carries Uruguay into next round
Mexico 0 Uruguay 1
Wednesday 23 June 2010
A header from Luis Suarez ensured Uruguay qualified top of Group A and also meant the integrity of the World Cup survived what could have been a horribly embarrassing stalemate. The knowledge that a draw would have guaranteed both teams a place in the knockout stages had prompted cynics to predict there was only going to be one result.
Uruguay in particular have a history of being one of the most pragmatic of all teams. Yet from the outset, both sides played with such verve and adventure that predictions of a stitch-up proved without substance. Avoiding a probable last-16 tie with Argentina was enough incentive to banish the spectre of 1982, when West Germany and Austria played out an impotent draw that put both sides through.
Uruguay deservedly top Group A, and while they have yet to set the tournament alight with dazzling football, they are a canny side who have not conceded a goal in their two wins and a draw. Suarez is finding his feet in the tournament. Despite a glaring early miss, the way he lost his marker to meet a cross from Edinson Cavani in the 43rd minute for the game's only goal was a reminder that he scored 41 times for Ajax last season.
Cavani, the young striker with Italian side Palermo, also had an outstanding game for Uruguay, displaying the kind of graceful power that could yet earn him his desired move to a more fashionable European club. Diego Forlan, who had scored twice in the 3-0 win over South Africa in Uruguay's previous game, was also a constant threat, and the trio will be key the nation's hopes of progressing further.
Mexico (4-3-3): Perez; Osorio, Rodriguez, Moreno (Castro, 57), Salcido; Torrado, Marquez, Guardado (Barrera, 46); Dos Santos, Franco, Blanco (Hernandez, 63).
Uruguay (4-3-3): Muslera; M Pereira, Lugano, Victorino, Fucile; Arevalo, Perez, A Pereira (Scotti, 77); Suarez (A Fernandez, 85), Forlan, Cavani.
Referee: V Kassai (Hungary).
Man of the match: Cavani.
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