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World Cup 2010: Mexico 0-1 Uruguay - Both Sides Ensure Progress In A Lively Encounter

Mexico 0-1 Uruguay
World Cup 2010 Fixtures & Results

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A Luis Suarez close-range header sent Uruguay through to the round of 16 at the 2010 World Cup as group winners, but Mexico go through too thanks to South Africa's narrow victory over France.

Suarez's goal just before half-time ensured that Uruguay and Mexico thankfully didn't play out a repeat of the West German-Austrian arrangement that eliminated Algeria in 1982. At least for as long as South Africa were a danger, the Uruguayans were positive and lively and came up against a Mexican side who consistently pressed for a goal.

Suarez had the best early chance when he escaped the clutches of Hector Moreno after Francisco Rodriguez misjudged a long ball but the Ajax striker uncharacteristically shot wide of the target. Mexico almost responded instantly when Giovani Dos Santos whipped a left-footed ball into the area which just about evaded the leap of Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

El Tri were at times sloppy at the back with Rodriguez and Moreno at times chancing their arm playing in a nonchalant manner, a risky ploy against Uruguay's front three. Diego Forlan introduced himself into the game with a free kick enticing the diminuitive keeper Oscar Perez six yards from his goal was punched away by the veteran.

Blanco's perfectly weighted ball to Guillermo Franco gave Mexico their first decent opportunity however the recently released striker let the ball run too far and it skipped out of play. Mauricio Victorino was left unmarked at the near post just beyond the six yard box but his flicked header failed to trouble Perez.

In a frantic passage of play, Alvaro Pereira then wasted an excellent chance to break the deadlock but provoked an angry reaction from Forlan when he greedily shot when the Atletico striker was better placed. Andres Guardado then hit the underside of the bar with a snapshot from thirty yards and soon after Perez palmed a Forlan cross away.

Dos Santos who was bright throughout, looked to have a glorious run on goal but hesitant on his right side, he allowed Fucile to get back and produce a timely sliding challenge. Uruguay then broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when a superb Edinson Cavani cross was met by Suarez at the far post and the Ajax hitman made no mistake from close range with Perez helpless.

After the interval and with both sides' prospects still in the balance, Uruguay almost doubled their lead from Forlan free kick which was met by Diego Lugano. Oscar Perez was the Mexican hero as he managed to pull off an important reaction to save to keep his side in the game.

Not wishing to rely on the French doing enough against South Africa, Mexico showed no signs of letting up, even if their approach did have the hallmarks of a side who were panicking. Substitute Javier Hernandez almost made an instant impact when he played in Dos Santos but the Spurs attacker was denied by another vital challenge by the excellent Fucile. Maza Rodriguez was guilty of one of the tournament's most glaring misses when he somehow contrived to head Pablo Barrera's cross wide with the goal at his mercy.

As the prospect of an early exit loomed larger, Mexico laid siege to the Uruguayan goal and continued to press for a goal despite receiving the news that France had got a goal back against South Africa. The Mexicans were helped in their quest for a goal by the Uruguayans shift to a five-man defence with the introduction of substitute Andres Scotti. However, as has been cited against them, they lacked the cutting edge to break down the solid defence of the South Americans. Nonetheless, both sides celebrated at the final whistle in the knowledge they won't be on the next plane home.

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