Forlan crushes South Africa’s chances

Diego Forlan’s two-goal heroics helped lead Uruguay to a 3-0 victory over South Africa that now leaves the World Cup hosts on the brink of a group-stage exit.

Forlan’s first goal was a powerful strike from 25-yards out that was deflected and his second was a converted penalty kick after a late challenge by South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune saw him sent off with a straight red card and a penalty granted.

Alvaro Pereira then sealed a comfortable victory for the South Americans in stoppage time, as Uruguay move to the top of Group A with four points and are just one game away from advancing to the round of 16.

Bafana Bafana are now in some trouble with only one point after two matches and find themselves at a disappointing bottom of the group along with France.

They face the 2006 World Cup runner-ups in their final group game and have one last chance at the opportunity of proceeding to the next round.

It was the Atletico Madrid forward that stole the spotlight from the South Africans as Forlan unleashed a shot from 30 yards out in the 24th minute, deflecting off the back of Aaron Mokoena, and into the back of the net.

Oscar Tabarez’s side continued to pressure the hosts in the second half with their aggressive offense as Pereira’s shot in the 67th minute just missed the net by inches.

Bafana Bafana also had the Uruguayans on their heels in search for an equalizing goal, but just could not capitalize when opportunities were presented. Katelgo Mphela could not direct a header from Siboniso Gaxa’s cross, Steven Pienaar’s attempted shot was blocked, and Teko Modise’s shot in the 68th minute was easily stopped.

In the 76th minute all hope was lost for the African side when Khune brought down Luis Suarez in the box, forcing referee Massimo Busacca to call a penalty and send the keeper off the pitch. Forlan stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, smashing the ball past Moneeb Joseph.

Pereira put the dagger in the South Africans hearts when he sealed the deal in extra time for a well-deserved three points for Uruguay.