Diego Forlan silenced the crowd for the first time during South Africa 2010 with a wonder strike worthy of any stage, and was also on target from the spot as Uruguay took a step closer to the last 16 with a 3-0 win over the hosts. Alvaro Pereira sealed a comfortable victory for the South Americans with a stoppage-time tap-in.
South Africa, who had not beaten Uruguay in their previous two meetings, headed into this game in Pretoria knowing the hopes of the Rainbow Nation rested upon their shoulders, with both sides having picked up a point in their opening outings in Group A. Carlos Alberto Parreira brought in Tsepo Masilela for Lucas Thwala in the hosts' starting line-up, while Uruguay opted to make two changes, with Edinson Cavani and Jorge Fucile coming in for Mauricio Victorino and Ignacio Gonzalez.
Pretoria had been a lucky place for Bafana Bafana, who had not yet lost at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, but it was Uruguay who started the brighter. In the 23rd minute, Luis Suarez teased his way past Bongani Khumalo before stinging the palms of Itumelenge Khune. It was a clear warning of what was to come and, within 60 seconds, the South Americans were ahead through Forlan. Khune had clearly not been expecting the Atletico Madrid forward to unleash a shot from 30 yards out, and stood rooted to the spot as his stunning drive, taking a slight deflection off the back of Aaron Mokoena, dipped over his head and into the back of the net.
The second half started as the first had finished, with Oscar Tabarez's side threatening to add to their lead. Cavani was first denied an opportunity to strike at goal thanks to some smart defending by Masilela, Diego Lugano might have been wheeling off in celebration had he made any kind of decent connection with Forlan's inviting corner-kick, and, in the 67th minute, the lively Pareira was guilty of scuffing a gilt-edged chance wide.
Bafana Bafana were still being frustrated in their search for an equalising goal, but when the chances did present themselves, they failed to profit. Katlego Mphela could not direct a header from Siboniso Gaxa's cross, Steven Pienaar's attempted shot was blocked, and Teko Modise's 68th-minute shot, South Africa's first on target, was easily smothered. The host nation's hopes of making it to the last 16 for the first time in their FIFA World Cup history received a hammer blow in the 76th minute when Khune was adjudged to have brought down Suarez, prompting referee Massimo Busacca to point to the spot, before flashing a red card at the South African keeper. Forlan stepped up to take the resulting penalty and made no mistake in smashing the ball past the deputising Moneeb Josephs.
Mphela and Siphiwe Tshabalala both had chances to reduce the deficit in the closing stages but, in the end, there was little the hosts could do to deny Uruguay a deserved and vital three points. Indeed, the South Americans added insult to injury in stoppage time with Pereira given the space to tap in Suarez's inviting cross.