NIGERIA 1-2 URUGUAY
Uruguay’s veteran striker Diego Forlan still showed talent on Thursday evening with a world class finish that helped his side defeat Nigeria 2-1.
The goal marked a special occasion as this was Forlan’s 100th appearance for his country; he is the first player from his nation to earn the honour.
Oscar Tabarez’s side weren’t at their best throughout the game but took the lead through Diego Lugano, however, they were pegged back by a rare strike from Chelsea’s Jon Obi Mikel.
Forlan scored early in the second half which proved to be the decisive goal in the match as Uruguay held out for the win, to keep them in the competition and dent Nigeria’s hopes of reaching the last four.
On 19 minutes, Uruguay took the lead with a scrappy goal. The South Americans won a corner on the left, which was cleared and before falling at the feet of Forlan. The former Manchester United striker whipped another low cross into the area, which found Edison Cavani whom failed to control the ball. The captain Lugano was on hand and side footed the ball home with his left foot past Vincent Enyeama.
Nigeria were level before half-time, with Mikel getting on the scoresheet. The midfielder picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area, he easily beats Lugano who was left flat footed. The ball is then slotted into the top corner past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera with a fine finish.
Just after the teams returned to the pitch after the break, Uruguay regained the lead. Forlan collected the ball from Cavani and with acres of space, surged into box. With a fantastic finish, he drills a left-footed shot past Enyeama into the top corner. The keeper had no chance of stopping it.
When Uruguay have world class strikers like Suarez and Cavani getting the playing time, it is hard to see when the old guard like Diego Forlan would get his chance to have one last run. But it was the old man that was the difference between the two sides. He produced two moments of quality for his side’s goals, as laid the ball perfectly for Lugano and finished with excellent technique himself for the second, which was enough to earn the victory for his country.
However, should they reach the final four, Tabarez’s side have to play better than they showed in this game, especially Cavani and Suarez, who were particularly poor.
NIGERIA: Enyeama, Ambrose, Omeruo, Oboabona, Echiejile, Ogude, Mikel, Musa, Ogu (Mba 66), Oduamadi (Babatunde 45), Ideye (Akpala 73)
URUGUAY: Muslera, Maxi Pereira, Lugano, Godin, Caceres, Arevalo Rios, Gonzalez, Rodriguez (Pereira 88), Forlan, Suarez (Coates 83), Cavani
Click the name above to follow Will on Twitter.