Uruguay booked their place in the round of 16 – and looked capable of going further – as they eased past Mexico 1-0.
Contrary to expectations of a bore draw, both sides played at a high tempo and created numerous scoring opportunities.
Luis Suarez scored the winning goal in the first half, when he headed in from Edison Cavani’s deliciously whipped cross.
Mexico had almost gone in front when Andres Guardado’s booming long range strike crashed off the underside of the crossbar and bounced to safety.
Uruguay’s Mauricio Victorino then found himself unmarked in the Mexico penalty area but the defender headed over from six yards.
In a somewhat quieter second half, chances were scarce. Diego Lugano almost doubled Uruguay’s advantage, while Francisco Rodriguez had a chance to equalise for Mexico.
Javier Aguirre’s Mexican side will have been given a fright at half-time as South Africa led France 2-0, but fears of group stage elimination were allayed for Mexico when Florent Malouda scored for France.
Mexico, who qualify for the second round as Group A runners-up, look set for a last 16 rematch with Argentina, who knocked them out at the same stage at the 2006 World Cup.
Uruguay, meanwhile, can look forward to a clash with either South Korea, Greece or Nigeria as they begin to live up to their pre-tournament tag of World Cup dark horses.
Uruguay have yet to concede at the World Cup and, with such a mean defence coupled with the prolific strike force of Luis Suarez and Diego, they are a threat that others should take seriously.