Five days after sitting back for ninety minutes in a 0-0 draw with France, Uruguay got a brace from Diego Forlan and a stoppage time goal from Alvaro Periera to beat hosts South Africa 3-0.
The win takes Uruguay to the top of Group A with four points, while South Africa stays at one point, even with Mexico and France, those two teams to face each other tomorrow.
Uruguay started the match in a much more ambitious set-up than they used on Friday, starting forward Edinson Cavani along with Forlan and Luis Suarez, with Forlan playing a supporting role. Coach Oscar Tábarez’s tweak opened the game up for Uruguay, with Forlan’s distribution creating a much more fluid side than the one that played on Friday.
Forlan used some of the room created by that fluidity to get a shot off from 22 yards in the 24th minute, an attempt that deflected off a South Africa defender and looped over goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune for the opening goal.
Uruguay would take that lead into half time, holding South Africa to one shot on goal.
In the second half, Uruguay continued to subtly dictate the match, allowing South Africa possession while preventing Bafana Bafana from any meaningful scoring opportunities.
With Uruguay protecting it’s lead, the second half had settled-in until the 76th minute. Then, a pass behind the South Africa line saw Suarez run onto a ball near the edge of the six yard box. He touched the ball around the oncoming Khune, who stuck his left leg out in an attempt to play the ball. Suarez went down, referee Massimo Busacca called a penalty, and Khune was shown a red card.
Diego Forlan rifled the penalty kick into the upper ninety to give Uruguay a 2-0 lead, while Alvaro Pereira redirected home a stoppage time cross from Luis Suarez to give the Uruguayans their final, three goal margin of victory.
Uruguay goes to the top of Group B with four points, facing Mexico in the final group stage match.
South Africa awaits a match with France, a game they will play without Khune or Kagisho Dikagcoi, whose first half yellow card was his second card of the tournament, earning him a suspension for South Africa’s final group stage match.