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WC Qualification Intercontinental Play-offs

  • November 13, 2013
  • • 23:00
  • • Amman International Stadium, ʿAmmān (Amman)
  • Referee: S. Moen
  • • Attendance: 17370

Jordan - Uruguay Preview: Hosts seek first-leg advantage over star-studded South Americans

Jordan - Uruguay Preview: Hosts seek first-leg advantage over star-studded South Americans

Hossam Hassan will be desperately hoping that his side can take a lead with them to Montevideo if they are to overcome a side featuring Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani

Jordan host Uruguay in the opening leg of their intercontinental play-off on Wednesday as they look to take a significant step towards reaching the World Cup for the first time.

The Middle-Eastern state are on the brink of making history but head into the game at the Amman International Stadium as underdogs against a team that reached the semi-finals of the 2010 tournament.

Hossam Hassan's men got to this point by winning a penalty shoot-out in September's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) play-off with Uzbekistan, after finishing third in the fourth round of AFC qualifying.

Uruguay, meanwhile, struggled for much of their qualifying campaign, but Jordan will know that the South Americans represent a step up in terms of the calibre of opposition that they are used to facing.

The hosts will need to improve defensively if they are to halt a talented Uruguayan attack, having conceded 16 goals in the final AFC group stage.

At the other end of the pitch, striker Ahmad Hayel Ibrahim carries the home side's most potent threat, having netted seven goals during Jordan's journey towards Brazil.

The visitors put on a late surge to secure their place in the play-off, although defeat against Ecuador last month effectively ended their hopes of automatic qualification.

However, Uruguay's subsequent 3-2 triumph over Argentina represented a fourth victory in five and ensured Oscar Tabarez's men finished five points clear of sixth-placed Venezuela.

Uruguay may have performed poorly in South American qualifying, but should be confident of taking a healthy advantage into the second leg with strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani both in the squad for the tie.

The star duo combined for 16 goals in the group stage, but Tabarez is still anticipating a difficult game.

"If Jordan gives everything in order to take advantage of its status as the home team, it will make things hard for us, and I'm not being pessimistic or cautious," he said.

"They don't have any elite football players, but to make a match tough, that's not necessary."

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