Saturday, June 12, 2010

The first goalless draw and the first red card come in the second game of the World Cup

France and Uruguay drew 0-0 in Cape Town in their Group A World Cup clash this morning [Tasmanian time].

That means it’s all square in the group with both matches ending in draws. South Africa drew 1-1 with Mexico in the earlier game.

France will be the more disappointed side as they had key players Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery booked.

Uruguay continued their tradition of being the hard men of World Cup football. The dubious honour of the first send-off of the tournament went to the South Americans when the Japanese referee, Yuichi Nishimura, dismissed Nicolas Lodeiro 9 minutes from the end of the game. Lodeiro had been cautioned in the 65th minute and then received a second yellow card for a foul on Bacary Sagna.

France were the better side overall and Sidney Govou missed the chance of the match in the opening minutes when he reached a low ball into the goalmouth from Ribery but swept the ball wide of the far post.

Nikolas Anelka had few opportunities, his best being a header over the bar early on.

Diego Forlan did reasonably well for Uruguay and in the 16th minute he created a good shooting opportunity when he cut in from the left, but his shot was straight at the French goalkeeper. In the 73rd minute, he missed a glorious chance when he shot wide after a throw-in from the left and a pass from Luis Suarez set him up.

Yoann Gourcuff was dangerous for France at set-pieces and he almost caught out the Uruguayan keeper, Fernando Muslera, in the 18th minute with a free-kick from the left, but the keeper beat out the ball as it almost sneaked into the top left-hand corner.

The funniest moment of the match came two minutes from the end when substitute Thierry Henry, who knows all about hand-balls. He had the cheek to claim a penalty for handball when his attempt at goal came off the hand of Diego Godin. The defender’s hand was tight against his body and he had no chance of avoiding contact and the referee quite correctly waved play on.

France had 4 shots on target and Uruguay 2, while the French had 9 shots off target and the Uruguayans 3.

France had 52 per cent of the possession and Uruguay 48 per cent.

France had 4 corners and Uruguay none, while France were caught off-side 4 times and Uruguay 5 times.

France committed 19 fouls and Uruguay 13 and each side received 3 yellow cards, with Uruguay having the only red card.

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