CONMOBEL: Uruguayan victory not enough.
Everything fell into place for Uruguay in the final round of qualifying to book an automatic place for Brazil next summer. Chile, deflated after giving up a three goal lead to Colombia on Friday, rose to the occasion and defeated 3rd place Ecuador leaving it up to Suarez, Cavanni and company to do the rest. All they had to do was score 5 more goals than table toppers Argentina. No big deal.
It all started off rather promisingly with Christian Rodriguez scoring in the 6th minute to put Uruguay on track. Only 4 more to go! Unfortunately, former Liverpool winger Maxi Rodriguez drew the hosts level in the 15th minute. Uruguay went back up after a Luis Suarez Penalty, only to be brought back to even after the brave Maximus Rodriguez scored again. Having only scored 13 goals previously for Argentina, a brace was hardly an expected return for Maxi, but a welcome one for the visitors. A delightful combination between Suarez and Cavani sealed the win for Uruguay, but they were unable to pile on the goals required to qualify for the World Cup automatically, hitting the woodwork twice.
This is the fourth WC in a row La Celeste will have to go through the playoffs to reach the tournament. This time, they face a hardly menacing side from Jordan. After a performance like this one, Uruguay will enter the two-leg playoff with confidence, especially since the crucial second leg will be played on home soil. However, this qualifying campaign has shown that nothing can be taken for granted when it comes to Uruguay.
So, from CONMEBOL its Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Ecuador...with Brazil boosting South America's number as hosts. If Uruguay can add their name to the list, it will be quite the fiesta for the whole continent come June.