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June 16, 2010

South Africa vs Uruguay in second World Cup game

Uruguay vs France

Captain Egidio Arevalo Rios and Mauricio Victorino of Uruguay both go in for a challenge on Franck Ribéry of France during the 2010 FIFA™ World Cup Group A match between Uruguay and France in Cape Town. Photo courtesy Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

South Africa’s Bafana Bafana took on Uruguay at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria tonight, in the first of the second round of matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The host nation was bitterly disappointed when their team went down 3-0 to the South Americans.

After both teams drew in their opening matches – South Africa 1-1 against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11 and Uruguay 0-0 against France at Cape Town Stadium on the same night – both were hungry for a victory that would push them to the top of their group.

Uruguay are an experienced side, known for their physicality, and are two-time World Cup winners, in 1930 and 1950.

South Africa team talk

South Africa were the underdogs against Uruguay. Photo courtesy alvez

Vuvuzelas could be heard throughout South Africa before and during the match.

But despite the fervent fan support, Bafana Bafana were the underdogs in the match. Ranked 83rd in the world, they’re the second lowest placed team in this World Cup, with North Korea, who lost just 1-2 in their opening match to the mighty Brazil on June 15, currently placed at 105th in the world.

Most international commentators were predicting a Uruguay victory, but, that said, South Africa’s gutsy draw against Mexico, who are placed just one behind Uruguay at 17th in the world, came as a surprise to many, with Siphiwe Tshabalala’s superb opening goal of the tournament.

Two of the three goals were scored by Diego Forlán, who becomes the first player in the tournament to score more than one goal. In a controversial decision, Referee Massimo Busacca (Switzerland) gave South African star goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune a red card, meaning he will miss South Africa’s final match in the opening round against France.

Fast facts

South Africa and Uruguay haven’t played one another for several years. The last time was in a 2007 friendly, which they drew 0-0. Before that, Uruguay beat South Africa 4-3 in the 1997 Confederations Cup.

A host team has never been eliminated in the first round of a World Cup, but South Africa was eliminated in the first round the last two times the team has played in the World Cup.

Uruguay hosted the first-ever World Cup in 1930, which they won.

Uruguay’s coach, Oscar Tabarez, and South Africa’s coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, are two of the most experienced coaches at the World Cup this year.

Uruguay is a small South American country on the eastern side of the continent, and is bordered by Argentina to the east, Brazil to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, with a population of around 4-million. South Africa is a fairly large African country, with a population of about 44-million.

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