France and Uruguay play to 0-0 draw

Defence was the focus in the second match of opening day at the 2010 World Cup as France and Uruguay played to a 0-0 draw.

Playing in front of a sold-out crowd at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, neither country could capitalize on its scoring opportunities.

France led the match in total shots, with 18 to Uruguay’s seven, but both teams managed only three shots on net.

The runners-up from 2006 had the best chance of the game in just the seventh minute, but Sidney Govou couldn’t convert on Franck Ribery’s cross, nearly missing the pass and sending it wide right of the net.

Striker Diego Forlan was a strong force for Uruguay, creating scoring opportunities for his team despite its emphasis on stacking up their back line.

His biggest chance came in the 73rd minute. After a throw-in deep in France’s end, Luis Suarez tapped the ball to an open Forlan, who booted it wide.

France also had a shot at the win in the final minutes of the match as Uruguay was forced to play with 10 players.

Nicolas Lodeiro picked up his second yellow card in the 81st minute, becoming the first player to be expelled from a game in the 2010 World Cup.

Despite controlling the play for the final nine minutes though, the French couldn’t net the game-winning goal.

Les Bleus argued for a penalty kick after it looked like Mauricio Victorino’s hand may have touched the ball on a Thierry Henry shot, but it was actually accidental contact on the lower arm and no call was made on the play.

It is because of a handball that France made it to the World Cup in the first place, after a handball by Henry in the final qualifying playoff game versus Ireland led to France’s winning goal.

Uruguay survived a dangerous play in stoppage time when France was awarded a free kick just outside of the Uruguayan box.

But Henry, who was substituted into the game in the 72nd minute, sent it straight into a wall of defenders and Uruguay managed to maintain the draw.

With South Africa and Mexio’s opening contest ending in a 1-1 tie, Group A remains wide open as all four teams sit with one point through the first game.

Uruguay will next play South Africa on June 16, while France takes on Mexico on June 17.