The opposition quality in Group A was made quite clear to Stuart Pearce yesterday when Uruguay beat the United Arab Emirates 2-1 at Old Trafford, just before Britain's game with Senegal.
Ismail Matar had put the UAE into a surprising lead, finishing from Omar Abdulrahman's perfect through-pass. But the Copa America champions and World Cup semi-finalists showed their strength, and recovered with two excellent goals. First, three minutes before half-time, Gaston Ramirez, Bologna's gifted 21-year old, scored a beautiful free-kick from distance. Then 11 minutes into the second half Luis Suarez's cutback set up substitute Nicolas Lodeiro's winner.
No team has gained an advantage yet in Group B after two opening-round draws. Mexico could only manage a 0-0 South Korea, although substitute Raul Jimenez could have won them the game in the final minutes, only to hit the post after Giovani dos Santos' pass.
Switzerland were frustrated, though, as they could not hold on to their 1-0 lead against Gabon and take advantage. Admir Mehmedi had put the Swiss ahead with an early penalty but Pierre Aubemeyang equalised just before the break. Swiss midfielder Oliver Buff saw red late on.
Spain's defeat to Japan leaves them just one point behind the other two Group D teams after Honduras and Morocco drew 2-2, also at Hampden Park. Abdelaziz Barrada had put Morocco ahead in the first half after firing in Zakaria Labyad's knock-down. But two quick goals from Jerry Bengtson early in the second half put the central American side ahead. First Bengtson turned Maynor Figueroa's shot in before converting the penalty after Eddie Hernandez was fouled by Yassine Jebbour. It took a smart chip from Labyad to save a point for Morocco.
In Group C, Belarus beat New Zealand 1-0, with Dimitry Baha scoring the only goal just before half-time after a goalkeeping error.
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