Last night, Uruguay demonstrated all of their previous Latin abilities. But a masterful Diego Forlan deserves a clean round of applause. Although they managed to get past South Africa, the lowest-ranked host nation in World Cup history, they were actually far from impressive. South Africa vs Uruguay FIFA
It might appear different up close. Uruguay dominated, moved the ball around, and held onto it for extended periods of time. Then, from outside the box, appeared what appeared to be the first genuine screamer of the competition. San Diego Forlan. But if you look closely, you can see that Forlan’s rasper in the 24th minute touched Aaron Mokoena of Portsmouth off his neck, earning him his 102nd cap for Bafana Bafana last night. Due to this, what appeared to be a spectacular strike from Forlan actually had a lot to do with appearances.
That’s what this 3-0 victory was all about. While it may appear favourable to spectators from that region and to television commentators sidetracked by the vuvuzela, if Luiz Suarez suffered one more injury in a nation without a National Health Scheme, his insurers might have left the nation.
All of this was rendered meaningless when, following 76 frustrating minutes, the home team’s goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune, was dismissed in front of 60,000 spectators last night at an officially chilly Loftus Versfeld.
South Africa vs Uruguay FIFA World Cup 2010 Highlights Match
Luiz Suarez—yes, him again—performed a swan dive of such epic proportions that Swiss referee Massimo Busacca would have been insensitive to not offer his sympathies and a card, even if he hadn’t committed a terrible foul. Suarez had fallen at least twice before requesting a penalty kick, after all. There was also very slight contact.
However, the perceptive television cameras will show you that Suarez was off-side in any case. It didn’t really matter. Khune is thus dismissed for muttering, there is a penalty, and Monieb Josephs is brought on for his first World Cup touch. Forlan, whose father Pablo participated in the 1966 World Cup, stepped up and placed it in the top corner. To cap off a night of complete misery at a stadium used to watching, Pereira added another. Rugby matches are won by the rushing Blue Bulls.
The vuvuzelas were silenced for once. For the Rainbow Nation, who had enjoyed their World Cup journey so much in the lead-up to this game, there was anger, disappointment, and despair. Then they encountered the cynical reality of top-level world football. Not having to watch South American football every week must be a relief, right. The dives, the acting, the nagging all the time. Oh, the suffering they endure as they continue to roll after each sliding tackle.