World Cup Recap - Uruguay vs. France|
(Friday, June 11th)
Final Score: Uruguay 0, France 0
Cape Town, South Africa (Sports Network) - France tied Uruguay 0-0 on Friday
in its FIFA World Cup opener at Green Point Stadium, the third straight time
France has failed to score in its tournament opener.
France won the World Cup in 1998, but failed to score in its 2002 opener in a
1-0 loss to Senegal and was shutout again in 2006 in a scoreless draw against
Uruguay finished with 10 men after substitute Nicolas Lodeiro was sent off in
the 81st minute.
France pressured in the closing minutes with the man advantage, and substitute
Thierry Henry had the best chance, but his close-range effort was deflected by
Uruguay's Mauricio Victorino.
Mexico and South Africa tied 1-1 earlier Friday, leaving Group A all level on
one point after the opening round.
Franck Ribery created France's first chance in the eighth minute when a lucky
bounce off a Uruguay defender freed him on the left. Ribery crossed to Sidney
Govou at the top of the six-yard box, but Govou turned the ball wide right.
Uruguay's only attempt on goal in the first half was from Diego Forlan in the
16th, but his 17-yard shot was palmed away by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Ribery set up another chance in the 18th minute when he drew a foul on the
left wing. Yoann Gourcuff went directly on goal off the free kick, but Uruguay
goalkeeper Fernando Muslera lunged to deflect the ball away from the upper-
France had the final chance to end the deadlock before halftime, but Nicolas
Anelka's glancing header off a Barcary Sagna cross was well off target.
Forlan had a rare chance for Uruguay seven minutes into the second half, but
after chesting down a long pass at the top of the area, he launched his shot
high with France defender William Gallas pressuring.
France's Jeremy Toulalan forced Muslera to make a save on a long, one-hopper
in the 57th, then Ribery wasted an open look when he fired a shot from outside
the area wide right in the 60th.
Forlan went directly to goal off a free kick in the 64th, but Lloris smothered
the shot with Uruguay players lurking. Forlan then wasted Uruguay's best look
of the match in the 73rd.
Luis Suarez slipped a pass to Forlan at the top of the area, but Forlan drove
the open chance wide left from 16 yards.
Gourcuff and substitute Florent Malouda were both off target on long shots as
France continued to look for the winner, and Lodeiro's second yellow card
opened a lot of space in the closing minutes.
Henry, who led France to the World Cup with an infamous handball to set up the
winning goal in a playoff against Ireland, had the best look when the ball got
to him on the left and he fired at the near post. Victorino pulled his arms to
his side, but the ball took a slight deflection off his right hand, which left
Henry asking for a handball that wasn't awarded.
France had one last chance on a free kick in extra time, but Henry's shot
was stopped by the wall, as defensive-minded Uruguay held on for the draw.
Uruguay will face hosts South Africa next on June 16, and France plays Mexico
on June 17.
06/11 17:04:35 ET