Diego ForlÃƒÂ¡n brace spoils the South African party
Diego ForlÃƒÂ¡n was the star of the show as Uruguay all but eliminated South Africa from the World Cup with a comprehensive 3-0 victory.
ForlÃƒÂ¡n controlled the Uruguayan tempo from the start, with the 31-year-old leading from the front, taking on defenders and dropping into midfield to spread play.
The Atletico Madrid striker’s dominance meant that it was no surprise when he scored the crucial opening goal. When afforded the time to turn the forward unleashed a vicious dipping shot past Itumeleng Khune.
South Africa stumbled through most of the first half with Uruguay’s urgency appearing to leave the hosts in disarray with their key player, Steven Pienaar, unable to assert his authority on the game.
Uruguay continued to press in the second half. Luis SuÃƒÂ¡rez appeared to be fouled inside the box while Uruguay’s captain, Diego Lugano, fumbled his header from a dangerous free kick by Forlan.
South Africa lacked composure from crossing and dead ball situations and despite increasing the pressure, they struggled to threaten the South American defence with Diego Lugano and Diego Godin looking comfortable.
The hosts were limited to hopeful long-range efforts which failed to trouble the Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
Any hope of an inspiring comeback from the hosts were ended when South African goalkeeper Khone brought down SuÃƒÂ¡rez in the box. The goalkeeper received a straight red card and Forlan duly converted the spot-kick in emphatic style.
ForlÃƒÂ¡n and SuÃƒÂ¡rez combined to set up Uruguay’s third of the night presenting ÃƒÂlvaro Pereira with an empty net to nod into.
With Uruguay’s victory sealed the Vuvuvela-clad Bafana Bafana fans drained the muted Pretoria stadium.