France vs. Uruguay: World Cup gets its first 0-0 tie as Uruguay imitates Italy(Read article summary)
Uruguay’s ‘La Celeste’ frustrates France by stacking the defense and playing for a tie just the way Italy normally does.
A cautious “La Celeste” flooded the area in front of its goal with defenders, allowing France to control the ball and hoping its dynamic duo up front could capitalize on the counterattack.
The problem? Uruguay doesn’t quite have the top-caliber attackers that Italy does, so it can’t count on scoring on the few chances it gets.
Another problem, it didn’t make for exciting soccer.
This is the traditional criticism of Italy as well: They play for ties, not wins.
This brand of soccer is one reason open-minded Americans are consistently stymied when they try to get into the World Cup. Why would you want to watch 90 minutes of a game that one of the teams is not even trying to win?
But the effort to bring some spark to the French team could not produce a goal. They created more chances, but were unable to crack Uruguay’s stifling defense.
“Uruguay may be negative, but defensively brilliant,” said Mr. Darke at the end of the game, his voice full of resignation.
La Celeste wore him down. They wore us all down.
World Cup 101:
- World Cup 101: Why is the World Cup in South Africa?
- World Cup 101: Is South Africa really prepared to host the World Cup?
- World Cup 101: Who’s favored to win it all?
- World Cup 101: How does the tournament work?
- World Cup 101: Why is the World Cup such a big deal?
- As World Cup 2010 kicks off, where South Africa stands 16 years after apartheid
- World Cup news coverage
- Readers weigh in: Why do you watch the World Cup?
[Editor's note: In the original version, the caption of the photo had the wrong last name for Diego Forlan.]