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France-Uruguay: No goals, no thrills

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - Nil-nil draws can be the scourge of soccer. Yet nobody who participated in Friday night's 0-0 World Cup match between France and Uruguay was complaining.

The game between former champions produced an opening day dud, yet there was much satisfaction expressed by each team for gaining a point.

"It is almost a beautiful 0-0," France coach Raymond Domenech said. "But the result is what it is."

Even if some of the tournament's top stars - France's Franck Ribery and Uruguay's Diego Forlan - showed flashes, the fear of losing the opening game stifled both offenses.

The low point came when Uruguay's Nicolas Lodeiro was ejected after a wild challenge on Bacary Sagna in the 81st minute for his second yellow card.

In the end, an early short-range miss by France's Sidney Govou and an excellent save from Uruguay's Fernando Muslera left Group A as wide open as possible with all four teams (South Africa and Mexico) with a point each.

"There weren't many chances for either team, neither team wanted to take many chances," Forlan said. "It was very complicated. The whole game was equal, I thought."

South Africa plays Uruguay on Wednesday, a day before France meets Mexico. Lodeiro will be suspended for the game with the host team.

Down to 10 men for the last 9 minutes plus 3 minutes of injury time, Uruguay concentrated on kicking the ball away from its penalty area and net. But even with a man up, France failed to find a goal. "We had to guard against an unlucky counter," Domenech said.

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