Uruguay's Gaston Ramirez (10) is congratulated by his team mate Edinson Cavani after scoring against the UAE during their men's Group A football match at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Old Trafford stadium in Manchester July 26, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Andrea Comas)
Uruguay had a strong showing in their first Olympic match in 84 years with a 2-1 win over the United Arab Emirates.
Uruguay has been considered a favorite in the group after third place finish at the 2010 World Cup and a victory at the 2011 Copa America. But for the first 45 minutes, the UAE looked like the superior side. They passed crisply and aggressively in the early going and were rewarded in the 23rd minute when Ismaeil Matar got a 'through' ball pass from Abdulrahman and scored on the breakaway. UAE followed up the goal with a few prime scoring chances thereafter but were unable to take advantage.
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Uruguay however did not waste their only chance of the half and tied the score when Gaston Ramirez took advantage of a free kick 25 yards from the net.
The second half would see the momentum shift to the South Americans and the addition of substitute Nicolas Lodiero. In the 55th minute, the Uruguayans took the lead off a Lodiero goal. UAE tried to fight back into the game, but were unable to overcome the deficit.
Both teams ended up with 13 shots, but UAE only had 6 on goal to Uruguay's 8 on target.
Uruguay gets to further their group lead with a chance against Senegal on Sunday while UAE gets a chance to steal back some spotlight against the home team Great Britain.
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