Tabarez promises better Uruguay: 'Opening games are not my speciality'

The trainer recalled less-than-brilliant curtain raisers at both the Copa America and World Cup as reasons to be cheerful following a narrow 2-1 victory over UAE in the Olympics
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez believes his team can show a lot more at London 2012 after seeing off the challenge of United Arab Emirates, after admitting that the first match of the tournament was bound to give him a few scares.

Goals from Gaston Ramirez and Nicolas Lodeiro earned the South American a 2-1 victory over their opponents, who had outplayed the South Americans in the first half and led briefly through Ismail Matar.

Their triumphant Copa America campaign last year, as well as the 2010 World Cup, saw the Celeste fail to win their opening group fixtures, and Tabarez confessed he is used to opening-day jitters.

"You could say that the first games are not my specialty," the experienced trainer joked to reporters at the end of Thursday's Group A clash.

"One of the goals was the result and if we had not managed that there would be no solution. Everything else can be worked on and addressed."

'El Maestro' also praised his men for withstanding a difficult first 45 minutes to run out winners after the break.

"This result is vital, as is having secured it after a first half in which we were dominated by the rivals," he explained.

"We had a great 20 minutes in the second period where we controlled but afterwards we could not keep up the same pace.

Uruguay will next face Senegal in the Olympic football tournament, before concluding their group campaign against hosts Team GB.