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France, Uruguay draw; Group A up for grabs

Uruguay's Sebastian Abreu, left, Uruguay's Diego Godin, foreground

Uruguay's Sebastian Abreu, left, Uruguay's Diego Godin, foreground center, and Uruguay's Diego Lugano, foreground right, applaud at the end of the World Cup group A soccer match between Uruguay and France. (June 11, 2010) Credit: AP Photo/Roberto Candia

American detractors of the game would point to a day like today as a reason why they can't respect or follow the sport of soccer.

But, what we lacked in results today, we made up for in the creation of a wide open race in Group A involving four relatively even teams.

France and Uruguay went 90-plus minutes without a goal to put the first day of the 2010 World Cup to rest. After South Africa's 1-1 draw with Mexico earlier, all four Group A members now are even with 1 point apiece.

It wasn't the best of games, but Uruguay put forth a stellar defensive effort to keep France off the board -- especially in the final 10 minutes when they were limited to 10 men.

PHOTOS: France 0, Uruguay 0

In the 72nd minute, France's Thierry Henry entered the game and became the first Frechman to play in four World Cups. It was a minute later, however, when his counterpart, Diego Forlan, nearly gave Uruguay the lead. The blonde-locked striker had an open shot 12 yards from goal and booted it wide left. Forlan finishes that eight out of 10 times.

In the 81st minute, Nicolas Lodeiro was sent off for an ill-advised tackle on France defender Bacary Sagna. Lodeiro had only just entered the game in the 63rd and will now miss the next game. France, a runner-up four years ago in Germany, certainly had several chances down the stretch, but couldn't convert.

France next takes the field Thursday against Mexico while Uruguay and South Africa square off Wednesday. When this group was announced, I had a feeling we could see three teams tie for first with four points. Maybe it'll be four.


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