CAPE TOWN, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Ten-man Uruguay snatched a goalless tie with France in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Group A match here on Friday night, repeating their last encounter in the 2002 World Cup group stage.
Nicolas Lodeiro, a Uruguay midfielder who left the bench in the 62nd minute, fouled out in the 80th minute, becoming the first red-carded player of the just opened 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Lodeiro replaced Ignacio Gonzalez but only after three minutes, he got his first yellow card. Then, a terrible challenge on Sagna made him walk to the bench again.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez did not comment on the red card. He said,"We have played only two warm-ups before the World Cup . But I think today's match will help us reaching top form."
Uruguay top striker Diego Forlan, the Man of Match, said,"It was a very tough game. It was difficult for both sides to win."
It's the eighth time that two former World Cup winners have met in the first round, with five of those matches finishing all square.
The two sides were all in good form, especially their stars Forlan, Luis Suarez, Franck Ribery and Nicolas Anelka.
In the eye-catching tit-for-tat attackings, the great chance for France appeared in the 8th minute when Ribery ran down the left and cut the ball to Govou who missed the target under pressure. Govou has not scored for France since September 2008.
The first real chance for Uruguay came in the 17th minute when ace striker Forlan danced past French defence line but his right-footed shot stang the palms of goalie Hugo Lliris.
On 19 minutes, French midfielder Yoann Gourcuff's left-foot free kick from 35 yards almost curled into the top corner.
French midfielder Abou Diaby, who looked impressive, muscled his way through midfield in the 31st minute and played an excellent pass towards Govou. But Anelka pinched it off him and was offside.
France coach Raymond Domenech said,"We missed too many chances. Uruguay played in very face pace today. Both sides made some errors."
After the interval, a fantastic touch from Forlan after a hoofed clearance made Uruguay fans stand up. Forlan took the ball on his chest and maneuvered into some space before blasting his volley over.
The French supporters erupted when Henry and then Malouda came on. When Lodeiro was out, all French fans stood up and anticipated a last minute goal. However, Henry's injury-time free kick missed the target.
Although Uruguay fought to the end to avoid a loss, they failed to notch a long-awaited win.
In their last 14 games at the FIFA World Cup, Uruguay only managed one win, a last minute victory over South Korea in 1990. However, the man in charge on that evening was current coach Oscar Tabarez.
Moreover, Uruguay made their return to the FIFA World Cup exactly eight years after their last match on June 11, 2002, when they came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Senegal.
Today, also in Group A, host South Africa had pulled out a 1-1 tie with Mexico on Friday in the 2010 World Cup opener.
Both Domenech and Tabarez pointed out that as the four teams in Group A all got one point today, the second round would be very tough and deciding.