Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Tabarez Leads Uruguay to Top Spot
Uruguay 1 Mexico 0, Rustenburg
Uruguay swept into the Round of 16 as group winners after a relatively comfortable victory against Mexico. With both teams needing only a draw to progress there were fears that both teams would play out a dull draw. Not a bit of it and in the end a narrow defeat for Mexico was enough to secure its own passage into the next phase.
Uruguay made all the running in the first half and just before the break the decisive goal came. Cavani was freed down the right and his wonderful swinging cross found the head of Suarez. He had the simple task of nodding it past Perez and finally opening his World Cup account after countless chances in the previous matches.
La Celeste could have doubled its lead early in the second half. This time Forlan was the provider from a free-kick but Lugano's header brought the best out of Perez who made a wonderful, scrambling save.
There were chances for Mexico, who played with far more spirit and adventure in the second period. The best opportunity fell to Rodriguez who met an inch perfect cross with a flying, diving header. With the goal at his mercy it should have been the equalizer but he sent it agonisingly wide.
As Mexico pushed forward there were plenty of gaps for Uruguay to exploit on the counter attack but in the end one goal was enough. Oscar Tabarez can already be proud of his team's efforts but his team is going to be around for a little longer yet.