Day 1, Match 2 – after a spectacular opening match show by South Africa to stun the more experienced Mexican squad with a 1-1 tie, we now have Uruguay and France going at it. These two are pretty tightly matched teams based on rankings and past history so it should be an exciting meetup of European and South American soccer. Uruguay, in case you didn’t know, were the first hosts of the very first World Cup Finals, and they also won it, in 1930.
Ribery had a gorgeous centering but Govou missed, while Uruguay also has a break of its own when a shot has to be saved by Mulsera the French goalie. Easy save, but nonetheless a good shot on target that should give Uruguay some degree of confidence while shaking up France a little bit! Overall there were a few good runs and a few shots, great defensive tackles, but nothing too exciting happened so far. Now we await the 2nd half…
Compared to the first match between RSA and Mexico, this game between the seasoned veterans of Uruguay and France seems and feels much tighter and well composed. The defense has much less holes. Both goals scored by RSA and Mexico in the previous match were results of poor defending on both parts and lack of hustling. However Uruguay and France have brought up the calibre to a much tighter level with high quality footballing. Hard to tell at this point who will come out the winner with both teams being very physical and actively defending.
The second half saw more shots, more openings perhaps, especially after some substitutes were made.. but still quite a deadlock. Both the French and Uruguayan sides saw some quality chances for goal, but as of the 80th minute, nothing has happened yet.
And at the 81st minute – the first red card of the World Cup 2010 has been presented. Rodeiro of Uruguay makes a poor challenge that goes straight to the ankle of the French attacker, rather than the ball. This perhaps could be the most significant turning point of the match, and it seems that in the last 10 minutes of the mach, France is all over the Uruguayan zone!
In injury time, France wins a free kick right outside the Uruguay penalty zone – but this is swatted away by a defender’s head, and the whistle blows.
So there it is folks – the first two matches in the World Cup 2010, in Group A, both came out as draws. I was expecting a lot more from Ribery and the French squad against the lower ranked Uruguayan squad, but that’s how sports go sometimes – nothing as expected.