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Uruguay

Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Uruguay fail to impress
Singapore defender Rasif Mahamud tackles Diego Forlan
Forlan was one of Uruguay's better performers
Uruguay 2-1 Singapore

Two goals from Richard Morales saved Uruguay from embarrassment as they closed their World Cup preparations with a win over minnows Singapore.

Morales opened the scoring midway through the first half, neatly finishing off a fine cross from Manchester United's Diego Forlan.

He added his second goal with 15 minutes remaining when he was left unmarked near the far post from a corner kick.

Substitute Indra Sahdan Daud brought Singapore back into the game with a penalty five minutes later.

Daud was brought down in front of the goal by Uruguay keeper Federico Elduayen.

Singapore then went close three more times as Uruguay wilted in the high humidity.

Missed chances

Uruguay laboured in front of goal and although coach Victor Pua tried to put on a brave face on the game, he conceded that his starting 11 was far from sorted.

He also admitted there may be a need to squeeze in a further warm-up match.

"It was a good practice for the World Cup, but every game you play raises new questions," he said.

"The physical state of each player is being looked at, and we are trying out positions, switching players around to see the best combinations."

Pua denied speculation that Uruguay resented leaving their base camp in Japan to travel to Singapore for a match against the world's 113th ranked side.

"None of the players thought this game was a waste of time," said Pua.

"They played with total seriousness, but Singapore were stronger in the second half as our players felt the humidity."

Forlan and Morales impressed throughout, creating several opportunities but the absence of a handful of leading players showed in a mistake-riddled performance.

Ten of the 23-member squad - including Alvaro Recoba, Paolo Montero, Dario Silva and Sebastian Abreu - opted to stay in Japan where the squad has been based since beating China 2-0 last week.

Recoba was sorely missed as Uruguay misfired more than a dozen times in the first half.

The shortage of substitutes told as Uruguay faded late in the game.

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GROUP A
  P GD PTS
DENMARK 3 +3 7
SENEGAL 3 +1 5
URUGUAY 3 -1 2
FRANCE 3 -3 1

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