SOUTH AFRICA (0) vs URUGUAY (3)
FORMER Manchester United forward Diego Forlan struck twice as Uruguay pushed hosts South Africa to the brink of elimination at the first hurdle.
Man-of-the-match Forlan netted in each half and Alvaro Pereira headed a late third as the slick South Americans overpowered a toothless, 10-man Bafana Bafana to go top of Group A.
It was South Africa’s first defeat in 14 matches but leaves them in grave danger of
crashing out at the group stage. A win for either Mexico or France today would leave the
home team on the thinnest of ice.
Uruguay, meanwhile, look likely to progress to the last 16, and were rewarded last night
for adopting a bold three-man strike-force at odds with the largely cautious formations prevalent at this World Cup.
Forlan, now of Villarreal in Spain, was the principal threat and was first to beat
Itumeleng Khune when his 30-yard shot deflected off Aaron Mokoena’s shoulder and
dipped over the bewildered goalkeeper.
He and the lively Luis Suarez continued to torment the hosts but it was not until the 80th
minute that Forlan doubled the lead and silenced Loftus Versfeld. Khune brought down
Suarez, earning a red card, and Forlan emphatically deposited the spot kick high past
substitute goalkeeper Moneeb Josephs.
The vuvezelas were muffled again in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Forlan found Suarez and his cross was met at the far post by Pereira for a simple third.