England's World Cup opponents Uruguay laboured to a narrow win over a gutsy Northern Ireland side in Montevideo.

Christian Stuani's close-range strike in the 62nd minute gave the South Americans victory in front of more than 50,000 fans at the Estadio Centenario.

Northern Ireland, with just one win in 20 matches, will feel pleased with their creditable display against a team ranked sixth in the world.

England play Uruguay in their second Group D game on 19 June in Sao Paulo.

On this showing England manager Roy Hodgson may be encouraged, but he will know a low-key friendly is not the best guide to what will happen when the real competition starts.

Uruguay fielded a near full-strength team, the only notable absentees being Liverpool's Luis Suarez, who is recovering from a knee injury, and Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin.

The hosts found it tough to get on top of an under-strength Northern Ireland team, although goalkeeper Roy Carroll had to make a superb double save in the 33rd minute to deny Uruguay.

The former Manchester United keeper, now with Greek club Olympiakos, stretched to get his left hand to Paris St-Germain striker Edinson Cavani's initial shot and, when the ball fell for Diego Forlan, Carroll was there again to block the low shot at the near post.

Carroll, 36, crashed into the frame of the goal but after treatment for a shoulder injury was able to continue.

Late in the half, Maxi Pereira flashed a shot over while Cavani fired into the side-netting after Carroll had almost lost a Forlan effort.

Northern Ireland continued to frustrate Uruguay after the break but the hosts forced the opener through Espanyol forward Stuani.

Southampton's Gaston Ramirez made the initial break on the left and, from his ball, Cavani played it into the six-yard box, where Stuani pounced to turn in from just a few yards out.

Northern Ireland did seem to tire in the last 15 minutes but, to their credit, they restricted the World Cup hopefuls to that solitary goal.

One of NI manager Michael O'Neill's substitutes in the second half was defender Ryan McLaughlin, who became the first Liverpool player to appear for Northern Ireland since goalkeeper Elisha Scott 78 years ago.

McLaughlin had a half chance in the 85th minute but lifted his shot well over from the right side of the box.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill: "Having seen Uruguay, I would expect England to beat them in Brazil. If England play with pace in the forward areas they will cause them real problems. I'll be honest, I think you can get at them.

"This is a good team, but it's heavily dependent on the front two, if you nullify them you can get opportunities against them.

"I haven't spoken to Roy (Hodgson) in the build-up, but if he wanted to call me or my assistant Billy McKinley, who he worked with at Fulham, there'd be no problem there. But I'm sure he doesn't need to, they will have had someone here and there'll be a dossier 250 pages thick."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (12)

Uruguay

  • 01 Muslera
  • 16 Maxi Pereira
  • 22 Cáceres (Pereira - 72' )
  • 17 Arévalo Rios
  • 02 Lugano
  • 03 Coates (Giménez - 45' )
  • 18 Ramírez (Lodeiro - 65' )
  • 05 Gargano Booked (Pérez - 75' )
  • 21 Cavani (Hernández - 65' )
  • 10 Forlán (Stuani - 45' )
  • 07 Rodríguez

Substitutes

  • 04 Fucile
  • 06 Pereira
  • 08 Eguren
  • 09 Hernández
  • 11 Stuani
  • 12 Muñoz
  • 13 Silva
  • 14 Lodeiro
  • 15 Pérez
  • 19 Giménez
  • 20 González
  • 23 Silva

Northern Ireland

  • 01 Carroll
  • 13 Evans (McLaughlin - 87' )
  • 11 Ferguson (Lafferty - 80' )
  • 18 Hughes
  • 06 Baird
  • 19 McCullough
  • 16 Norwood Booked (Steele - 86' )
  • 10 Clingan Booked (Paton - 74' )
  • 09 McKay (McLaughlin - 81' )
  • 07 McGinn (Magennis - 61' )
  • 08 Davis

Substitutes

  • 02 McLaughlin
  • 03 Lafferty
  • 04 McLaughlin
  • 05 Donnelly
  • 12 McGovern
  • 14 Gray
  • 15 Paton
  • 17 Steele
  • 20 Magennis
  • 21 Boyce
  • 23 Carson
Ref: Leandro Vuaden

Match Stats

Shots

20 2

On target

5 1

Corners

5 2

Fouls

14 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Uruguay 1, Northern Ireland 0.

90:00 +3:07 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Uruguay 1, Northern Ireland 0.

90:00 +2:37

Foul by Diego Lugano (Uruguay).

90:00 +2:37

Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:42

Foul by Egidio Arévalo Rios (Uruguay).

90:00 +0:42

Ryan McLaughlin (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:45

Attempt saved. Ryan McLaughlin (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

89:20

Foul by Christian Stuani (Uruguay).

89:20

Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:03

José María Giménez (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:03

Foul by Daniel Lafferty (Northern Ireland).

87:21

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Álvaro Pereira.

86:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northern Ireland. Conor McLaughlin replaces Corry Evans.

85:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northern Ireland. Jonathan Steele replaces Oliver Norwood.

84:39

Attempt missed. Ryan McLaughlin (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Daniel Lafferty with a headed pass.

82:37

Dangerous play by Cristian Rodríguez (Uruguay).

82:37

Paul Paton (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

81:41

Attempt blocked. Maxi Pereira (Uruguay) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

81:37

Attempt blocked. Abel Hernández (Uruguay) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Cristian Rodríguez.

80:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northern Ireland. Ryan McLaughlin replaces Billy McKay.

79:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northern Ireland. Daniel Lafferty replaces Shane Ferguson.

77:54

Attempt missed. Abel Hernández (Uruguay) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Maxi Pereira with a cross.

74:10 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Uruguay. Diego Pérez replaces Walter Gargano.

73:47 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northern Ireland. Paul Paton replaces Sammy Clingan.

71:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Uruguay. Álvaro Pereira replaces Martín Cáceres.

71:32

Corner, Uruguay. Conceded by Chris Baird.

71:30

Attempt blocked. Nicolás Lodeiro (Uruguay) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Cristian Rodríguez.

68:18

José María Giménez (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:18

Foul by Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland).

67:49

Foul by Egidio Arévalo Rios (Uruguay).

67:49

Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

66:46

Corner, Uruguay. Conceded by Corry Evans.

65:42

Attempt missed. Nicolás Lodeiro (Uruguay) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

64:31 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Uruguay. Nicolás Lodeiro replaces Gastón Ramírez.

64:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Uruguay. Abel Hernández replaces Edinson Cavani.

62:37

Christian Stuani (Uruguay) wins a free kick on the left wing.

62:37

Foul by Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland).

61:07 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Uruguay 1, Northern Ireland 0. Christian Stuani (Uruguay) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Edinson Cavani.

60:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northern Ireland. Josh Magennis replaces Niall McGinn.

59:51

Attempt missed. Walter Gargano (Uruguay) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Cristian Rodríguez.

58:46

Christian Stuani (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:46

Foul by Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland).

58:32

Walter Gargano (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:32

Foul by Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland).

57:41

Foul by Cristian Rodríguez (Uruguay).

57:41

Corry Evans (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

55:47

Attempt missed. Diego Lugano (Uruguay) header from the left side of the six yard box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Walter Gargano with a cross following a corner.

55:19

Corner, Uruguay. Conceded by Corry Evans.

54:49

Christian Stuani (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:49

Foul by Sammy Clingan (Northern Ireland).

53:05

Cristian Rodríguez (Uruguay) wins a free kick on the left wing.

53:05

Foul by Corry Evans (Northern Ireland).

52:32

José María Giménez (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:32

Foul by Billy McKay (Northern Ireland).

50:05

Foul by Gastón Ramírez (Uruguay).

50:05

Sammy Clingan (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:01 Booking

Booking Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

47:56

Cristian Rodríguez (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:56

Foul by Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland).

46:47

Foul by Christian Stuani (Uruguay).

46:47

Corry Evans (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Uruguay. Christian Stuani replaces Diego Forlán.

45:00

Second Half begins Uruguay 0, Northern Ireland 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Uruguay. José María Giménez replaces Sebastián Coates.

45:00 +2:11 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Uruguay 0, Northern Ireland 0.

45:00 +1:54

Attempt missed. Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

45:00 +1:50

Attempt saved. Diego Forlán (Uruguay) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cristian Rodríguez.

44:37

Foul by Maxi Pereira (Uruguay).

44:37

Shane Ferguson (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:46

Diego Lugano (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:46

Foul by Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland).

41:31

Attempt missed. Maxi Pereira (Uruguay) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Walter Gargano.

40:33

Offside, Uruguay. Walter Gargano tries a through ball, but Edinson Cavani is caught offside.

36:08

Attempt saved. Diego Forlán (Uruguay) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Walter Gargano.

33:59

Attempt blocked. Gastón Ramírez (Uruguay) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

33:55

Attempt blocked. Egidio Arévalo Rios (Uruguay) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

33:39

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

33:21

Delay in match Roy Carroll (Northern Ireland) because of an injury.

32:04

Corner, Uruguay. Conceded by Roy Carroll.

32:03

Attempt saved. Diego Forlán (Uruguay) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

32:00

Attempt saved. Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Cristian Rodríguez.

31:34

Foul by Diego Lugano (Uruguay).

31:34

Billy McKay (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

30:02

Foul by Sebastián Coates (Uruguay).

30:02

Billy McKay (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

29:14

Attempt missed. Sebastián Coates (Uruguay) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Diego Forlán with a cross following a corner.

28:51

Corner, Uruguay. Conceded by Chris Baird.

27:45 Booking

Booking Walter Gargano (Uruguay) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

27:41

Foul by Walter Gargano (Uruguay).

27:41

Sammy Clingan (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:06

Foul by Diego Lugano (Uruguay).

27:06

Billy McKay (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

26:18

Egidio Arévalo Rios (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:18

Foul by Corry Evans (Northern Ireland).

19:50

Attempt missed. Walter Gargano (Uruguay) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Diego Forlán.

13:37

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Diego Lugano.

12:14

Attempt missed. Gastón Ramírez (Uruguay) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Edinson Cavani.

8:44

Sebastián Coates (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:44

Foul by Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland).

8:10

Foul by Diego Lugano (Uruguay).

8:10

Billy McKay (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:12

Diego Forlán (Uruguay) wins a free kick on the left wing.

7:12

Foul by Luke McCullough (Northern Ireland).

5:33

Attempt missed. Gastón Ramírez (Uruguay) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Diego Forlán with a cross.

5:09

Foul by Steven Davis (Northern Ireland).

5:09

Martín Cáceres (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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