Post match analysis
Uruguay deserved to win, but 3-0 flattered them a bit in the end. It also means they are probably through to the next round, with 4 points from 2 games and a game against Mexico to look forward to.
For South Africa, this defeat spells disaster. In theory, they can still qualify for round 2, but I don't see them beating France by 3 or more goals, which means they will be the first guest nation ever that doesn't get past round 1 during a World Cup.
Overall, I think the result was to be expected. When you compared the line-ups, you saw players who were active in the Serie A or the Primera Division face off against players active in the ABSA Premier League.
The lack of experience showed throughout the game, as Uruguay just looked more intelligent and played in a higher tempo and with an actual strategy, whereas South Africa usually seemed clueless, which isn't a compliment to their coach, who waited a long time before bringing on a new forward, upto the point where it no longer mattered because his keeper got sent off.
Game, set and match... (22.25)
Massimo Busacca ends the game. Deserved victory for Uruguay, who looked more composed and better on the ball for the majority of the match. Not a brilliant performance by la Celeste, but most definitely good off to see off a very average South African side.
Perreira finishes South Africa off (22.24)
Alvaro Perreira heads in the 3-0 from a cross by Suarez, who adds two assists to his tally. Poor goalkeeping by Josephs, who misses the cross completely. Okay, maybe Uruguay didn't deserve that third goal, but they scored it anyway.
Time-wasting tactics (22.20)
Tabarez is wasting some more time with some substitutions, Edison Cavani comes off, Sebastian Fernández comes on and Diego Perez is replaced by Walter Gargano.
Woeful long range efforts (22.17)
Okay, I know we've seen a few long range efforts fly in so far and I know that goalies are complaining about the Jabulani ball, but seriously, if you're hoping to score a goal with shots from that far out, you're not the sharpest tool in the shed. Shame that South Africa are giving the ball away like that instead of trying to go for the consolation goal with proper build-up play.
Pitiful dive by Mphele (22.14)
South Africa's Mphele tries his hand a "Suarez", but to no avail. He doesn't have the flair to pull a dive off with any conviction.
The crowd is leaving (22.11)
Some members of the crowd have given up. They're leaving for home. The noise of the vuvuzela's in the stands has also been silenced quite a bit. Uruguay hit South Africa hard on the counter. I expect the remaining 10 minutes or so to be very boring. Uruguay don't want to attack, South Africa are impotent going forward. Lovely.
Forlan bags his second from the spot (22.08)
My mistake incidentally, Josephs comes on for Steven Pienaar, not Walters. Forlan converts the penalty, flawless spot kick. The replay shows that again the South African off-side trap fails to function because Mokoena steps back instead of forward. Suarez is through on goal and looks for the penalty by running into the keeper. Smart play by Suarez, harsh on goalkeeper Khune, who played a decent game.
Suarez does another "Suarez" (22.06)
There was a bit of contact, but seriously... a penalty?! Incidentally, I did predict the speculating on the pace of Suarez, so yay me... Goalkeeper Khune gets a red card and South Africa's third-choice goalie gets to make his debut for Bafana Bafana. Walters is coming on to try and save the penalty effort.
Uruguay is retreating, South American style (22.04)
So the stage is set for a typical South American counter-attack soon. Uruguay is retreating a bit onto their own half, without really giving away any chances. They're drawing the home-side onto them. I guess they are speculating on the pace they have upfront with Suarez and Cavani.
Where are the South African forwards? (22.02)
Seriously, you're 1-0 down with under 20 minutes to go and you've only got one forward on the pitch? Why? You have to score a goal and goals are scored by forwards... Mphela looks ineffective on his own, so help him out there... Parker or Nomvete should be helping him out...
Fucile appears to be injured... (22.00)
Shame, the guy played well as a wingback for Uruguay, bombing forward. Alvaro Fernández is brought on to replace him.
South Africa are improving (21.58)
Okay, they're still playing in a rather clueless fashion, but they are linking up better and more energetic. It might be because Uruguay appears to be tiring, but the home-side are growing into the game. Is it in time though?
First real chance for South Africa (21.55)
Muslera rushes off his line to save Uruguay as their defenders appear to respond rather lethargic to a Pienaar cross. Mphela heads the ball wide for South Africa and this was Bafana Bafana's first real chance of the game.
Dikgacoi should have been sent off! (21.53)
Dikgacoi, the guy who was already carded in the first half, just flew in with both legs, taking Fucile down. No attempt to play the ball what-so-ever. Really, that should have been a second yellow card and subsequently a red card...
Useless Uruguay Trivia, part II (21.51)
Did you know...
That there are 13 professional football clubs from Montevideo competing in the various tiers of Uruguayan professional football?
That Uruguay has actually won two World Cups?
The first subsitution (21.47)
Letsholonyane is replaced by Moriri. Bit of an odd substition, as I really liked the way Letsholonyane was handling himself in midfield. I'm sure Parreira has some sort of plan, but I can't predict what that might be.
There we go, set pieces... (21.43)
As I predicted, South Africa are utterly dire at picking up runners during set piece situations. Lugano just had an easy header, but he completely missed the ball, which bounced off his back wide of the goal. Silly miss, he should've done more with that.
"Cottonmouth" Suarez does a... "Suarez" (21.42)
Suarez looks pretty funny with a load of cotton stuffed in his mouth to stop the bleeding of his lip. In Holland, Suarez has a reputation for diving in the box, which he does so often, a dive is referred to as a "Suarez" by some pundits. He just did a "Suarez" here, but Busacca is having none of it.
Chaos during set pieces (21.40)
I've said it before and I will say it again, South Africa look very unorganised in defence. During set pieces, the defenders seem unable to pick up running opponents properly. The keeper and the senior defender (Mokoena with over 100 caps) should be coaching them, but that's not happening. So far, Uruguay haven't capitalised on this, but it only seems a matter of time before they will. Their intelligent runs off the ball are always dangerous, but as said before, their final ball is non-existant at the moment.
First blood! (21.38)
I'm not referring to the goal scored by Forlan, but literally first blood. Aaron Mokoena and Luis Suarez were competing for the ball when the latter got hit in the face by a flailing arm. Looks like a damaged lip to me.
The team nicknames (21.34)
South Africa are nicknamed Bafana Bafana, which means "the boys" in Zulu, which is one of the dominant languages in South Africa.
Uruguay has a more bland nickname, La Celeste, which means "the sky blues", which is a reference to the colour of their home kit.
Half-time analysis (21.29)
As said before, South Africa are lacking any real ideas. They're playing with enthusiasm, but that's about it. They're too slow on the ball and rather unimaginative when there's space in the Uruguayan defence or midfield.
Uruguay are pressuring the home-side into making mistakes, because their forwards drop deep to close down and disrupt the build-up play from the South Africans. On the counter-attack, La Celeste looks dangerous, though the team is lacking a final ball.
The only goal so far was a stunning goal, but a bit of a fluke, as Uruguay hasn't created any clear-cut chances, unless you want to count Suarez' individual effort, which was more the result of sloppy South African defending than actual merit of Uruguay's forwards or midfielders.
I hope South Africa can get rid of their nerves a bit and create some more pressure. If they can actually speed things up and get some sort of strategy besides hoofing it blindly towards their lone striker, it would greatly improve this match and their own chances of getting something out of this game.
Forlan appears to be doubling up (21.18)
Uruguay appear to be fielding Forlan not in his traditional role as a deep-lying forward, but in a role where he combines the role of playmaker with that of a forward, a trequartista role if you will, like a Totti or Raúl. He isn't just staying upfront to score goals, but he drops deep to pick up the ball and distribute it further.
The first suspension for South Africa (21.16)
Dikhagoi fouls his opponent with a poorly timed sliding challenge and gets his second yellow card of the tournament, which means he will be suspended for South Africa's game against France.
South Africa are clueless (21.13)
Their build-up is rather dire. Barring a header by Mphela just now, it's just hoofing the ball clear and relying on chance to get through, rather than applying some form of strategy.
Welcome to South America (21.09)
Modise slams into a cheeky elbow and looks around rather bewildered. It may not be pretty, but that's professional football for you, son.
Suarez fires it wide (21.07)
Nice dribble by Suarez, who skips past a defender and blasts it just wide of the near post. Suarez has scored 50 goals in all competitions for Ajax in the past season, but he hasn't brought his shooting boots to South Africa, or so it seems.
South Africa are too slow (21.05)
Not only are they lacking any creative ideas going forward, they're also playing too slow, which gives the Uruguayan wide forwards a chance to drop back and close down on the midfielders, who usually give the ball away cheaply or hoof it clear. Uruguay are looking much more dangerous on the break-away, Cavani and Suarez have tried to cause trouble.
Useless Uruguay Trivia (21.02)
Did you know that...
Diego Forlan's dad played in the World Cup as well, as he faced off against Holland in the 1974 World Cup as a defender?
Diego Godin was a talented swimmer during his younger years and still holds various Uruguayan records in swimming?
WOW! What a rocket of a goal! (20.57)
Diego Forlan scores a stunning long range effort, which takes a deflection off Aaron Mokoena, before cannonning in off the underside of the bar. Looks like Forlan has made his peace with the Jabulani ball. What a goal...
Pienaar is trying his luck... (20.56)
That's the second time Steven Pienaar is tying his shoes in front of a Uruguayan free-kick. Son, with a yellow card behind your name, you really shouldn't be doing that, you're asking for trouble.
No real chances so far (20.53)
The match reminds me a bit of watching the ball in a pinball machine. Both sides are taking turns in giving the ball away. Uruguay's build-up looks more thought through. but they seem to be lacking a final ball into the box, whereas South Africa appear to be relying on sheer luck to get chances. They seem to lack a real strategy to create chances. Pretty bland game so far.
Loving those clearances by the goalkeeper (20.45)
That South African goalkeeper has an exquisite clearance... Most keepers just hoof it clear, he actually distributes the ball very accurately and dangerously towards players in space. Most South African attacks start with him, like that chance for Mphela against France. Either way, maybe Uruguay should close down that keeper a bit more instead of letting him build up like he does.
Nervous start from South Africa (20.42)
South Africa is having a nervous start. Giving possession away cheaply and being tested a bit by the Uruguayan wide players. Also, Pienaar is testing the referee. He just got a yellow and he's already started time-wasting by standing too close to the ball during a Uruguayan free-kick. You're going to get into trouble if you keep that up, son...
Set piece mayhem (20.39)
Threatening free-kick situations from Uruguay as Forlan strikes two free-kicks. Also a yellow card for Steven Pienaar for moving out of the wall too soon. Silly lad, those are dumb yellow cards. Shame those deliveries from the free-kicks were poor. Forlan and Jabulani are not buddies yet, he also ballooned a good chance against France.
The actual line-ups (20.35)
South Africa has made a single change to the team, left-back Tshepo Masilela comes in for Lucas Thwala, who was substituted at half-time in his side’s opener. Uruguay face off with three strikers, as Edison Cavani backs up Suarez and Forlan upfront for La Celeste. Shows that those internet pre-views are a shambles really...
The referee (20.27)
Just a bit of trivia about referee Massimo Busacca. This Swiss referee is an experienced one, but did you know he once got suspended for sticking up his middle finger to some Swiss fans during a Swiss league match?
My expectations (20.25)
I'm giving Uruguay a narrow win, but mostly because South Africa's defence looked dire against Mexico, especially on set pieces. If Uruguay exploit that, they could get an easy win. The South African team gave away a cheap goal against Mexico when Aaron Mokoena cancelled out the off-side trap by moving backwards. This wasn't an incident, as this happened several times earlier in the match, but Mexico failed to capitalise on that. I'm expecting Uruguay to be more clinical.
Predicted line-ups, part II (20.15)
Again from Livescore.com. They updated their line-ups a bit, but they haven't spotted the obvious mistake in the keeper's name...
[ 4-4-1-1 ] [ 4-3-1-2 ] Itumeleng Khune Néstor Muslera Siboniso Gaxa Jorge Fucile Aaron Mokoena Diego Lugano Bongani Khumalo Diego Godin Tsepo Masilela Alvaro Pereira Siphiwe Tshabalala Maximiliano Pereira Kagisho Dikgacoi Diego Pérez Renielwe Letsholonyane Egidio Arévalo Teko Modise Diego Forlan Steven Pienaar Edison Cavani Katlego Mphela Luiz Suarez
Epic pre-match programming (20.00)
Dutch TV just had an epic pre-match item. Some German lad is playing every World Cup match with his Lego and he's recording the matches. Pretty cool stuff. I'll probably do an extended article on that later on.
Why you shouldn't trust predicted line-ups... (19.50)
Okay, after having a second look at the predicted line-ups... They got the name for the Uruguayan goalie wrong. His name is Fernando Muslera, not Nestor. Epic fail there by Livescore.com.
Predicted line-ups (19.48)
Browsing the net for the expected line-ups. Livescore.com seems to the first with an expected line-up.
[ 4-5-1 ] [ 4-4-2 ] Itumeleng Khune Néstor Muslera Siboniso Gaxa Jorge Fucile Aaron Mokoena Diego Lugano Bongani Khumalo Diego Godin Tsepo Masilela Alvaro Pereira Siphiwe Tshabalala Maximiliano Pereira Kagisho Dikgacoi Diego Pérez Steven Pienaar Diego Forlan Renielwe Letsholonyane Egidio Arévalo Teko Modise Edison Cavani Katlego Mphela Luiz Suarez
Not sure if I want to believe this. Uruguay have always faced off in a 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 formation so far, so it should be a large breach with tradition. South Africa's line-up seems fine. No Bernard Parker though. Shame, the kid's a classy winger.
Small update from my brother, who claims Uruguay is moving to a more conventional formation to create more chances and because they are less likely to be on the defensive for the majority of the game. He insisted I add this to the article, so you can stop moaning now ;-).
Short Preview (19.30)
With 30 minutes to go until the kick off of Uruguay versus South Africa, I'm getting ready. I've got a few beers in the fridge, some snacks ready, and the TV is already tuned in. The local pundits are not entirely enthusiastic about either team, but since Ajax's Luis Suarez is playing for Uruguay, everyone has branded the South Americans as hot favorites for this match, considering Suarez bagged a load of goals for Ajax last season.
Personally, I am not so sure. Prior to the World Cup, I thought South Africa were going to get humiliated, but they looked decent against Mexico and they nearly snatched the win in the opening game.
Uruguay looked lucky to escape with a draw against France, though they were helped by a total off-day for both Gourcuff and Anelka. Still, this Uruguay side has two lethal forwards in Forlan and the aforementioned Suarez, so half a chance could be enough for Uruguay to snatch a win. They will have to create more chances than they did against France though.