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WC Qualification South America
October 16, 2013
• Estadio Centenario, Montevideo
Referee: Marcelo de Lima Henrique
• Attendance: 55000
C. Rodríguez 6'
L. Suárez 34'
E. Cavani 49'
M. Rodríguez 15', 41'
That's all folks, it's been a wild ride. Till next time.
It all petered out in the end, but an excellent game of football throughout. Too bad for Uruguay though, whose win counts for naught as they fail to squeeze into fourth place, and will now square off twice against Jordan to see if they can join Argentina, Colombia, Chila, Ecuador and of course Brazil as South America's World Cup representatives.
90' + 4'
90' + 3'
3-2 here to Uruguay, and it's just about to finish 2-1 to Chile in Santiago.
90' + 1'
Into the first minute of injury time as Cavani appeals furiously for a penalty, and he may have had a case, as the ball brushes the left arm of Biglia inside the area!
Nothing of note to report in the last two minutes. Argentina have barely broke stride, and are keeping the ball in safe positions. Uruguay just being slowly strangled to death.
The Uruguay faithful just about realise that the jig is up. But there's simply nothing left in the tank for the home side, who are now wearily watching Argentina ping the ball around the field.
From the resulting corner, Cavani has the ball in the back of the net, but it's rubbed off right away as Godin is penalized for a foul in the box.
Rodriguez and Fucile link up nicely on the left hand side, and the latter spots Cavani at the near post, but the PSG man is too slow to attack the ball at the near post, and it goes out for a corner.
In an ironic twist, Fernandez has started sprouting blood from his left eye, mirroring the occasion in the first half when he also drew blood from Arevalo, albeit unintentionally.
Ten minutes stand between Uruguay and a playoff clash against Jordan. Still time to play, but time just trickling away from the hosts here.
I'm officially ready to forgive Suarez for that little bit of simulation to win the penalty, after his latest in a series of wonderful plays sees him touch the ball in front of Rodriguez, who has only a defender to beat to the goal, but he cannot get his shot past said defender.
Suarez with an ingenious pass from a strike-able free kick that picks out Rodriguez perfectly unmarked inside the ox, but after spinning on a dime wonderfully to make space for the shot, he smacks it into the side netting!
The game finally starting to hunch over and catch a breath. It's actually getting quite scrappy down on the pitch, as both teams get careless with some niggling little fouls.
Rodriguez comes within a foot of putting the visitors back on terms, but he dragged a good shooting opening wide in the end.
Bad news for Uruguay, - Ecuador have pulled one back. They need a minor miracle now! Judging by the second half though, that won't stop them trying.
It. just. won't. go. in. Unbelievable scenes here, as Stuani smacks a header off the crossbar, and Rodriguez works the next play onto the far post! Argentina living on borrowed time.
Pereira with a clutch little cross on the bounce that suddenly forces Romero to tip over the bar! That might just have been sneaking in!
Probably some divine retribution from the referee after the Suarez spot kick, as Basanta literally whacks Stuani in the face from behind inside the box. Enough illegality for two spot kicks, that one, but play goes on.
And just as I say that, Palacio nearly catches everyone by surprise with a snap shot from 25 yards that flashes inches, inches wide of Muslera's left hand post!
Argentina, despite their awful showing after the break, are piling men forward - exactly the strategy that has allowed Uruguay to pick them apart on the break like a camping sniper.
CONMEBOL UPDATE: Colombia 2-1 up against Paraguay, and more pertinently, Chile hold a 2-0 lead against Ecuador. Still not enough for Uruguay to snatch that fourth spot, as they need a three goal swing in goal difference combined from this game here and the one in Santiago.
Argentina have barely had a thing to say since the restart, as Uruguay have trampled all over them. It's been wave after wave of attacks from the hosts, as Suarez lobs Romero, but sees it fizzle into the roof of the net!
Lugano attacks a corner clumsily, but guess what? He almost works the ball to Cavani, who is sniffing at the near post and nearly gobbles that one up!
Back and forth we go, as Uruguay take advantage of Cavani's phenomenal movement to orchestrate another break! But Edinson-stopper Biglia is on the case, getting a crucial touch to stop the striker from getting in a speculative effort!
Another slip in the Uruguay backline. This is not a game for the defenders, but us neutrals are all the more happier for it! What a show!
The movement off the ball is terrific from Suarez on the counter. He draws two defenders, leaving the centre wide open. Cavani laps up the open space, and takes Suarez's deft feed to run in on goal and bury a beautiful finish!
Argentina right back down the other end. Palacio takes the ball in stride, and lines up a missile from 25 yards, which, had it been anywhere other than right at Romero, would have surely flown in.
This time, Suarez gets his delivery right on target! Cavani attacks his excellent corner with a neat flick, and with the ball floating invitingly, Rodriguez just misses out on a touch for his second and Uruguay's third goal!
Here we go again!
What a game, a treat for all you who have risked wrecking your REM cycle to take it in! A Maxi Rodriguez double, a Luis Suarez shenanigan, and Uruguay no closer to an automatic qualification spot than they were at the start of play! They've got to go for broke in the second half surely, so don't miss it!
45' + 2'
The referee wraps up a spectacular half of football!
45' + 1'
Suarez with yet another substandard delivery that one of his teammates makes the best out of. His free kick barely makes it into the box, but Cavani, oh Cavani, swivels his neck unbelievably and nearly glances a 18-yard header in! Romero tips away excellently!
Uruguay will run out the clock with 10 men as Arevalo gets an early start on the locker room.
Arevalo in a lot of pain after taking an inadvertent whack on the thigh from Fernandez. The area around his knee has swollen up and started spouting blood, he's being helped off the pitch.
Rodriguez notches up another one! A lovely pass diagonally across the box finds the veteran, who leaves Fucile on his backside with a deft cut, and duly slots it into the corner with Muslera nailed to his spot!
A seemingly hopeless ball over the top is motored down by Cavani, who stops it from crossing the byeline. He has a clean run into the box, but is countered by Biglia, who makes mincemeat of Cavani's terrible dribble attempt.
What? Only five minutes to go until the break?! This one has absolutely flown by! Back and fourth, passion in the stands and controversy on the pitch!
And it's our boy again who delivers a free kick into the mixer. Romero punches clear, Pereira collects on the right and nearly dribbles excellently into the six yard box, but forgot the ball.
It boggles the mind just how much Suarez manages to transcend his team and the occasion to take over as the centre of attention seemingly every other week. Uruguay sitting on a tenuous lead.
Penalty GoalLuis Suárez
It's a bad hit from Suarez, and Romero dives right to it, gets his hand on it, but can't stop it from going in! 2-1 Uruguay!
Add it to the list for lucky Luis. Dominguez does go into the back of him challenging for a high ball, but the Liverpool man milks it dry. Argentina protest, but he's already up at the spot to take on the penalty...
Whisper it quietly, but Suarez has just won Uruguay a penalty!
Corner from Uruguay. It's another horrible Suarez delivery, but Cavani pulls deep and gets a boot on it. It goes right into the box for some pinball, and almost makes it past the bumper, but Romero comes up with a clutch reaction save to tip away the deflection!
After some inexplicable delay, the free kick is hit by Lamela, but we shouldn't have even bothered with the wait. Miles over and counting.
Perez doesn't even try to hide his intentions, clattering right into Lamela about 25 yards from goal. He's quite a lucky boy that he doesn't see a booking for that, a decision that has irked Sabella on the sidelines.
It's delicate, it's intricate, it's beautiful from Argentina at the top of the box. They're about to break right through, when out comes that old boulder Lugano to clog it up, mucking the ball away from danger.
Haven't really seen much from Cavani up top. As is often the case under Tabarez, Suarez is the one taking the game by the scruff of its neck on the pitch. The PSG prize pig really has to stand up tonight.
Game getting scrappy as both teams exchange pot shots at each other. Still completely absorbing, mind.
Uruguay have barely got the ball out of their own half as Argnetina keep coming at them. Muslera is made to work on a pair of crosses right into the hear of his territory.
The pendulum has swung squarely in Argentina's direction since that goal. They look more confident, have more possession and are taking the sting right out of events on the pitch, and off it too.
Yellow CardErik Lamela
Lamela gets yellowed-up for raising his hand in an aerial challenge. Not the most dangerous infraction, but then again it's not the first time that the Tottenham whippersnapper has been guilty of the offence tonight.
Make no mistake, that equaliser was straight out of left field, both literally and figuratively. Argentina looked ready to concede a second and third, but it's 1-1. Suarez, as ever, is fiending for the ball, gets it, and tries to take on the whole Argentina team one-on-ten. He failed.
Sabella seems to have gotten through to his players! A quality break it was, Palacio running down the left before clipping into Fernandez. Godin slips - the key moment - and Fernandez lays off to Maxi, who buries it!
ARGENTINA LEVEL IT UP!
Even in this racket, you can hear Sabella literally hyperventilating as he bellows instructions on the sidelines. Or maybe it's an orc, I'm not sure. All I know is that it's scary and I wouldn't want to be in the same dressing room as it.
These fans are not letting up, absolutely mesmerizing atmosphere here! Uruguay continue to dominate proceedings, leaving Argentina to chase shadows all over the pitch.
The nippy (this time, I'm sorry) Suarez is running the show for the home side. He's moving around the field like he's trying to avoid a sniper scope, and is pulling the defence out to hell and back.
I know this is a B-team put out by Sabella, but dammit, they should be better than this! They're coughing up possession like a blob of snot, and basically doing everything they can to play right into Uruguay's hands.
The Stadium has burst at the seams as Rodriguez breaks the deadlock! A terrible Suarez free kick is defended even more dreadfully by Argentina. The ball breaks to Rodriguez inside the box, and he has time to pick his nose, steady himself and fire into the opposite side of the goal! I made only one of those things up.
Suarez full of purpose early on! He tries to catch the Argentina back four dallying on the ball, nabs it, and whips in an early cross that Romero claims! He's really chomping at the bit! I know what I said, and I don't care.
Nice little early spell of pressure from the hosts. Perez had it in his head to test Romero, but the goalkeeper never even has to bother. Off target.
Underway in Montevidio, as Luis Suarez immediately tries to put Sergio Romero under pressure.
And after a gruelling yet strangely warming six-minute rendition of Uruguay's anthem, we're about ready for the jump.
It always amazes me how terrible footballers are at singing their own national anthem.
ARGENTINA: Romero; Campagnaro, Fernandez, Dominguez, Basanta; A. Fernandez, Biglia, Banega, Maxi; Lamela, Palacio.
URUGUAY: Muslera; Pereira, Lugano, Godin, Fucile; Stuani, Rios, Diego Perez, Rodriguez; Luis Suarez, Cavani.
Anyway, let's take a break from Uruguay's probability woes to look at our starting lineups.
The Chile-Ecuador match is a real boner for Oscar Tabarez and his troops to deal with, as a draw in that fixture will keep the standings as is, sending both teams straight into Brazil, and Uruguay into the playoffs. That game in Santiago will definitely not be one for the purists, as Chile and Ecuador can literally not touch the ball from the first whistle to the last, and still qualify directly. It's always strange on the rare occasion when that scenario pops up, but the table tells no lies, right?
With Argentina already wrapping up top spot in the Conmebol section, tonight is all about Uruguay and their race to Brazil. The hosts have the odds stacked squarely agaisnt them though, as they need a win here in Montevidio, a loser in the concurrent qualifier between Chile and Ecuador, and at least a four-goal swing in goal difference by the end of play.
Greetings all, and welcome to another round of World Cup qualifying action. With European action having dominated the airwaves earlier in the day, we now take you to South America, and the clash between Uruguay and Argentina. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, your designated scribe for the evening.
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