Uruguay defeats Emirates 2-1
MANCHESTER, England -- Substitute Nicolas Lodeiro scored in the second half to give Uruguay a 2-1 victory over the United Arab Emirates in men's Olympic soccer Thursday.
Playing in front of a near capacity crowd at Old Trafford Stadium, the Emirates took the lead in the 23rd minute and looked like the better side for much of the first half of its Olympic soccer debut. Emirates captain Ismaeil Matar scored when he got around the goalkeeper after controlling a through ball.
But with four minutes to go before the break, Uruguay's Gaston Ramirez curled the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net on a free kick. The goal came after striker Luis Suarez, who also plays for Liverpool, was fouled just outside the penalty area.
Lodeiro came on for the second half and converted a close shot in the 55th minute following a fluid Uruguayan move down the left side.
Uruguay, which won the tournament in 1924 and 1928, is seen as a medal contender.
"The team still needs to work on fitness. With the entrance of Lodeiro in the second half, we gained control and possession, but we still have work to do," coach Oscar Tabarez said.
The Emirates plays host Britain next.
"It was a high-level game," Matar said. "If you get a chance, you have to finish that chance."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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