Uruguay coach, Oscar Tabarez, has rained praise down upon the South American nation’s football talisman for the past decade, Diego Forlan.
34-year-old striker Forlan was restored to the starting line-up for Uruguay’s must-win Confederations Cup match against Nigeria last night, and the veteran did not let his team down.
It was his 100th international cap, and Forlan marked the occasion by scoring a stunning goal of rare beauty, which encapsulated his best striking characteristics.
Tabarez went for broke and fielded an all-out attacking line-up, with Forlan nominally left of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez in a simply sumptuous strike force.
The trio combined to devastating effect to secure Uruguay three vital points, when Suarez broke into Nigeria’s half, continued his run after laying the ball off to Cavani down the centre.
As Suarez dragged Nigeria’s defence rightwards, Cavani rolled the ball out wide to barnstorming Forlan, who unleashed an unstoppable left-footed drive into the top corner.
The goal revealed Forlan’s knack for being in the right place at the right time, his sure footed two-footedness, and his ability to finish with pinpoint accuracy and venomous power.
Calling Forlan a “great professional and a top striker”, Tabarez’s gamble was vindicated.
"The way he can use both feet, his ball control, he showcased his talents today," the wily tactician said of Forlan.
"He won his 100th cap tonight and that is very important for him and it is a tribute to him that he has made it this far."
Overall, Tabarez was satisfied by the result, which kept Uruguay alive and kicking in the competition. But he admitted that his team had to sweat for their points.
"It wasn't show football, we had to work hard," he said.
"Circumstances, good luck and other imponderables were on our side and we are satisfied with what we have done."
Nigeria meanwhile, were left to regret their inability to stop Uruguay’s decisive flowing move.
The Super Eagles had acquitted themselves well, and coach Stephen Keshi was proud of his blossoming charges, who gave their experienced rivals a major fright.
But he blamed a “lack of concentration” for the fact that they are now likely to be eliminated after their last group game against Spain.
"The difference was a lack of concentration at the second goal," Keshi said.
"Otherwise it was a good game, my players played well. It's just that one or two minutes lack of concentration that caused the difference.
"I am impressed with what my boys did considering the difference in experience with a Uruguayan team that has been together for six years against ours that has been together for a year, a year and a half.
"I can't question their commitment and I can't question their loyalty. They did everything."