No favours for Bafana in Rustenburg

2010-06-22 16:48

Mexico 0

Uruguay 1

Having qualified for this World Cup through the backdoor of the

play-offs, neither Mexico nor Uruguay were likely to squander their final chance

of making it to the last 16 in Rustenburg.

The two sides came to their clash in Phokeng this afternoon not

short of determination and in full armour.

Mexico had seven of their regular players in the first

eleven while Uruguay had eight who had featured in 180 minutes in the tournament

so far.

Luis Suarez wrapped up the business for coach Oscar Tabarez’s side

to book a date against a to-be-decided runner-up between Korea Republic, Greece

and Nigeria in Group B. While Uruguay finished at the top of the standings in

Group A, Mexico finished second to provisionally book a last-16 clash against

Argentina who had a grip on their table prior to their final matches.

In Rustenburg, Suarez silenced a sea of green of Mexican fans with

a wonder goal shortly before the break.

“Celeste’s” goal was mostly received by a handful of Bafana Bafana

supporters, as the Ajax Amsterdam striker’s header meant South Africa were

slightly given a lifeline in Group A at the time when the hosts were leading

2-0.

Francisco Rodriguez should have pulled one back for the Mexicans

but he directed his header wide on the hour-mark.

However, there were cheers from the Mexican fans – who dominated

the 33 425 crowd in Phokeng – having sniffed the news that Florent Malouda had

reduced the arrears for France in the Bloemfontein encounter – much to relief of

the El Tri bench who looked tense as Uruguay dominated the proceedings at the

Royal Bafokeng.

With the time ticking away fast, Guillermo Franco squandered a

chance presented to him by a piece of poor defending by Uruguay.

Nonetheless the two-time champions Uruguay held firm to secure not

only a second-round place but Tabarez’s side also scored their first win over

Mexico since 2007.

 

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