Fri, Jun 07, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Substitute Suarez scores as Uruguay defeat Les Bleus

Reuters, MONTEVIDEO

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring against France in their international friendly at the Centenario in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Substitute Luis Suarez scored after less than five minutes on the pitch to give Uruguay a 1-0 win over France in an international friendly at the Centenario on Wednesday.

Suarez, who came on for the second half in place of Diego Forlan, scored with a diagonal shot into the bottom corner in the 49th minute after evading defender Eliaquim Mangala to take a pass from Maxi Pereira.

The striker did not start with Uruguay using the match as a warm-up for a critical World Cup qualifier in Venezuela on Tuesday next week that Suarez will miss through suspension.

Uruguay had the better of the opening exchanges with striker Edinson Cavani dangerous in front of Steve Mandanda’s goal.

France, whose tour also includes a match against 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil on Sunday, then took control of the ball and Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera was forced to make several saves.

Play was evenly balanced in the second half, but Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez will be concerned that his most effective forward is unavailable when he most needs him.

Uruguay need a victory in Venezuela to try and climb into one of the South American qualifying berths.

Uruguay are sixth in the nine-nation group with 13 points from 11 matches, two points below Chile and Venezuela.

The top four teams at the end of the qualifiers in October will go through to the World Cup finals in Brazil. The fifth-placed team, at present Venezuela, will enter a playoff against an Asian qualifier in November for another berth.

In Wednesday’s other international friendly, Denmark rallied to beat Georgia 2-1 in Aalborg.

Irakli Dzaria gave the visitors the lead in the 52nd minute, but Nicklas Pedersen equalized in the 77th and Christian Eriksen scored the winner a minute from time.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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