France 0 Uruguay 0: don’t mess with Japanese authority

Yuichi NishimuraThere was romance in the first game, South Africa looking for a short time as if a cracking goal against generally superior opponents mights secure a memorable victory for Africa in the opening game.

That one ended 1-1, a fair enough result.

Greater technical skills were on view in the second game, France looking by far the better team for most of the match, except that the Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan was comfortably the best player on the field, whatever he did.

But they failed to turn that dominance into the sort of result Raymond Domenech desperately needed after a dismal warm-up campaign. Even when Uruguay went down to 10 men (don’t mess with strict Japanese refs – as Evra and Ribery had discovered in the first half when Yuichi Nishimura rightly booked them both), a winning goal seemed beyond Les Bleus. And, of course, was.

One last free kick outside the box, with less than a minute of stoppage time left. It was wasted and the French commentator admitted “c’est fini” some seconds before the ref signalled his agreement.

France will probably still advance, with Uruguay at a guess, since the other two countries offer only modest threats. I do not, however, see them staying in South Africa much longer that that.

Colin Randall

* From the World Referee site, we learn this Yuichi Nishimura, who i thought had a good game: … officiated in the 2007 AFC Asia Cup. The same year he took charge of a quarter final and the final of the U17 World Cup in Korea, a match ending in a penalty shoot out won by Nigeria against Spain.

2 thoughts on “France 0 Uruguay 0: don’t mess with Japanese authority”

  1. The tournament is off to a great start. Two very entertaining games today.

    Mexico really beat themselves. If they’d kept up their early pressure, they could have had one or even two goals in the first few minutes. When they finally did score their equalizer, it pointed up the gaping holes that could be torn in a South African defence that seldom looked better than wobbly. All credit to the home team, though, for quickly settling down and launching some stunning breakaway moves that left Mexico looking flat-footed. Oscar Perez did not cut an impressive figure in goal.

    I thought the ref in this game was rather better than in the second one. He didn’t seem to miss much and, as far as the instant replays showed, was on the ball with close-call situations.

    The referee in the France-Uruguay game, on the other hand, was a little too quick with his yellow cards. This was a hard game but not especially dirty. Perhaps he was afraid of losing control but I don’t think that was ever likely to happen.

    I think France might do a little better than Colin expects. They were way better than I’d been led to believe. Ribery never stopped running, never stopped thinking. He was more impressive than Forlan who worked very hard but never stopped looking worried.

    It was very frustrating the way France were all over Uruguay but never able to finish and put the ball in the net. If Domenech had started Malouda and brought on his substitutes, especially Henry, earlier it could have had made all the difference. Easy to see why he’s unpopular in France and out on his ear after the World Cup. He let Uruguay off too lightly.

  2. In what language do you suppose the players and officials all conversed when necessary? The joys of the World Cup and the little things it brings up.

    I have France and South Africa qualifying from this group. I think I still want to stick by that for now, but Domenech’s apparent lack of tactical prowess appears like it may not only hinder France later in the tournament – but from the beginning too.

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