10-man Uruguay hold France
France and Uruguay played out a goal-less draw in their opening match in FIFA World Cup's Group A on Friday in the Green Point stadium in front of 64,100 spectators.sports Updated: Jun 13, 2010 00:13 IST
France and Uruguay played out a goal-less draw in their opening match in FIFA World Cup's Group A on Friday in the Green Point stadium in front of 64,100 spectators.
France could not break down a stubborn Uruguay defence despite being up against 10 men for the last nine minutes when substitute Nicolas Lodeiro was sent off having only been on the pitch 16 minutes.
The result leaves Group A wide open with hosts South Africa also sharing the points in their opening game with Mexico. They now play Uruguay next Wednesday with France meeting Mexico Thursday.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez made just two changes from the side that beat Israel in the country's only warm-up game prior to the World Cup. In came Universidad de Chile's Mauricio Victorino and Penarol midfielder Egidio Arevalo.
The South Americans were relying heavily on the strike partnership of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez, who scored 53 goals between them last season for Atletico Madrid and Ajax, while France left out their most famous forward.
Thierry Henry was on the bench as Nicolas Anelka lead the line supported by Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery and Lyon's Sidney Govou. Chelsea's Florent Malouda was another notable absentee in Raymond Domenech's starting line-up.
France had the first scoring chance in the seventh minute when Ribery raced away down the left and crossed for Govou who from the edge of the six-yard box failed to steer his effort past Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal. Uruguay were looking to play in Suarez at every opportunity and one long ball to the striker was fumbled by keeper Hugo Lloris.