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Posted on: Thursday, 17 June 2010

Fabulous Forlan floors Bafana

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Diego Forlan

Diego Forlan

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan (pictured) was in scintillating form for Uruguay at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria last night when he scored twice to help his country to a comfortable 3-0 win over hosts South Africa. Bafana Bafana simply had no answer to the attacking prowess of the blonde haired, blue eyed Forlan who had a perfect match with virtually everything he touched turning to gold.

The defeat means South Africa have to win their remaining Group A match against France on Tuesday to have any chance of making it through to the second round of the competition. A 24th minute strike and then a controversial 80th minute penalty from Forlan, which saw Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune sent off after he was adjudged to have brought down Luis Suarez, sealed the win for the two time World Cup champions.

Alvaro Pereira headed in a third goal in extra time to rub salt into Bafana’s wounds with the South African supporters already leaving the stadium in droves. Uruguay now find themselves in a very strong position in the Group with four points from two games, while Bafana have only one point.

The loss was the worst for a host nation since Mexico lost 4-1 at home to Italy in the 1970 quarter-final and was a clear illustration of the gulf in class between the 16th ranked Uruguayans and 83rd ranked Bafana. Group A rivals France and Mexico, who both drew their opening games, face each other today in Polokwane and the winner of that game will be in a strong position heading into the final round of games.

Uruguay began the match with some urgency, moving the ball effectively through midfield and they took the lead in the 24th minute through a slightly deflected, dipping drive from Forlan which went in off the underside of the bar. Khune appeared to be unsighted and hardly moved as the ball found the back of the net.

Stung into action, the home side began to probe their opponent’s defences in search of an equaliser, but with striker Katlego Mphela left on his own upfront, Bafana lacked the firepower to score. Midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi received his second yellow card of the tournament two minutes before the interval and, like Khune, will now miss the final group game against France.

Bafana head coach Carlos Alberto Parriera will no doubt be very disappointed at what transpired on the night, but will have a lot of questions to answer regarding his team’s sub par performance on the night. There was little change to the pattern of the game with Uruguay in complete control for large periods, while Bafana lacking penetration and options up front.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tavarez, on the other hand, was delighted with his team’s victory and he should be as it was an excellent performance from the South Americans, who must now be one of the early tournament favourites.

The telling moment in the match came in the 80th minute when Suarez took a trip to the turf after he was clipped by Khune’s flaying legs, and while the Kaizer Chiefs ‘keeper vehemently protested the decision, it was to no avail as the referee awarded the penalty. The ice cool Forlan stepped up and smashed the ball into the back of the net despite a valiant effort from reserve ‘keeper Moeneeb Josephs.

Pereira completed the scoring in extra time with a simple header from a well-placed cross from the right by Suarez, but by then the game was as good as over. Although the South Americans undoubtedly deserved their victory it must be said that this was a disappointing performance from Bafana. The South Africans lacked energy and intensity and seemed to have no real plan or ideas as to how to breach their opponent’s  defences.

The result was a bitter pill to swallow for the home fans whose dejected expressions were a clear indication of what transpired on the night. Parreira and his team will have to return to the drawing board to see what went wrong. Hopefully they will be able to find a remedy for their ailments – and soon.

Other World Cup results

Chile 1 – Honduras 0 – Nelspruit
Switzerland 1 – Spain 0 – Durban

Photo Credits:
Fabulous Forlan floors Bafana – Photo – Diego Forlan: Source – www.worldfootball.net

South African Links:
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2010 World Cup Accommodation
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