Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 6/5/13
Luis Suarez scored the only goal of an unremarkable affair as Uruguay defeated France 1-0 in Montevideo. The visitors had dominated the first half, but when Suarez was introduced as one of four half-time substitutes, Uruguay looked far more dangerous and the Liverpool striker had them ahead within five minutes of coming on. The home side had been winless in three coming into the contest and the result will serve as a major confidence boost going into next week's World Cup qualifier with Venezuela and the Confederations Cup. France, meanwhile, now face friendlies with Brazil and Belgium before resuming their qualifying campaign in September. The visitors showed intent from the off as Dimitri Payet hit a speculative effort inside the first minute, although he failed to bother Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal. Muslera was made to work in the 12th minute, though, as Mathieu Valbuena forced him into a smart fingertip save. France were dominating but struggling to apply any real pressure, and it was another speculative effort from Blaise Matuidi which was next to fly past the post. The visitors were starting to dominate and the midfield duo of Payet and Matuidi was trying to force them forward at every possible opportunity. Payet put a shot over the bar after some good work from a Matuidi free-kick, but it was Yoann Gourcuff who should have given Didier Deschamps' men the lead shortly before the break. He broke forward with Payet but the Lille man's pass was a touch too strong and Gourcuff got too close to Muslera, who managed to smother the ball. France should have been ahead at half-time but Suarez's introduction in place of Diego Forlan for the second half paid instant dividends for the home team. The second half was just five minutes old when the former Ajax striker took a pass from Maxi Pereira on the right and slotted a cool finish under Steve Mandanda. The fixture then turned into a drab affair from there on in, as a series of substitutions stopped either side from finding any real flow. But Gaston Ramirez, who was also introduced for the second half, came closest to finding the back of the net as he bustled into the box where Mandanda was equal to his effort. The 23-year-old German played 38 times in his first season in English football and was a success, though has been tempted by a return to his homeland. However, after negotiations boss John Ward has convinced him to stay at the Memorial Stadium for another season. Ward told the club's official website: "I have spoken to Fabian and we have another year's contract with him, it kicked in anyway with the agreement that had been made. "We are looking forward to another season with him. "Although Fabian is 23, he has probably only played about 10 or 12 games a season so far, and when you come across to England with the intensity we play at, it is a tough ask. "Last season would have stood him in good stead. He found it tough, but he really enjoyed it. I am hoping to get a good pre-season in with him, and he had certainly got talent."
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