The second match of group A, between France and Uruguay at the ongoing FIFA world cup at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa ended in a barren draw this evening. The French side started very aggressively and produced some anxious moments within the first ten minutes of play.
Uruguay looked a little bit unsettled in the first 20 minutes, almost giving away a goal in the 6th minute, but the opportunity to put France ahead was lost by Sidney Govou who failed to connect Franck Ribery’s cross in the 6 yard box. The Uruguayans gradually settled into the game and fought back gallantly, repelling every move by the French side. The first two yellow cards of the game went to Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery in the 12th and 19th minutes respectively.
No goal came in the first half of the encounter; though several chances were wasted by both sides. Nicolas Anelka came close to scoring in the 43rd minute but headed Bakari Sagna’s cross across the goal line for a goal kick. Nothing spectacular happened in the first half; the game became balanced after the French could not score. The Uruguayans gained more confidence and began to threaten France’s defense, occasionally doing a counter attack. Diego Forlan tried several times to break the French defense but to no avail.
The two sides came into the second half more cautious: Franck Ribery began to fall back as more pressures were mounted on them. In the 59th minute, Mauricio Victorino got a yellow card for a foul on Patrice Evra. A yellow card was also awarded against Nicolas Anelka in the 67th minute and Jeremy Toulalan in the 68th minute.
Nicolas Anelka got replaced with Henry Thierry in the 71st minute while Florent Malouda came on in the 74th minute. However, Lodeiro Nicolas became the first player to be red-carded on the African soil after he was sent off in the 81st minute for his rough tackle against Bakari Sagna. Diego Perez was substituted in the 87th minute while Diego Lugano got a yellow card in the 2nd minute of injury time. It was a game that saw 7 bookings – 6 yellow cards (4 to France and 2 to Uruguay) and a red card.
Both sides were happy as the centre referee, Yuichi Nishimura of Japan, blew his whistle to signal the end of the game after 90 minutes of play. Coaches Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay) and Raymond Domenech (France) were glad they did not lose the match. A lot of fans had expected the match to be much more explosive and at least produce some goals. Diego Forlan of Uruguay was elected the ‘Man of the match’. Other players that delighted the fans with their skillful display also include Frank Ribery, Nicolas Anelka,Florent Malouda and Diego perez.