Uruguay reach World Cup after Jordan draw

Montevideo, AFP | Updated : 21 November 2013, 07:06 PM

Uruguay became the final team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup on Wednesday after grinding out a 0-0 draw in a gritty battle with Asian minnows Jordan.

After Uruguay thrashed the Jordanians 5-0 in the first leg in Amman last week, a capacity crowd at Montevideo's famous Centenario Stadium had looked forward to seeing a full-strength Celeste side produce a high-scoring send-off.

However a fiercely committed Jordan frustrated the South Americans at every turn, defending in numbers and ruffling Oscar Tabarez's men with a physical approach.

It did not stop the Uruguayan players and their fans from erupting in wild celebrations at the final whistle as fireworks exploded above the stadium.

Earlier, three Jordanian players picked up bookings during a game that restored some pride for coach Hossam Hassan after his team were embarrassed on home soil last week.

Uruguay, the fifth ranked side in South America's qualifying campaign became the last of 32 teams to qualify for next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Only a few months ago, 2010 World Cup semi-finalists Uruguay had been struggling to qualify, scraping into fifth place after mounting a late rally which saw them win four out of their five final qualifiers.

They join Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Chile as the South American representatives at the finals.

The tone for Wednesday's match was set early on with Mohammed Aldmeiri and Adnan Hasan both booked by referee Jonas Eriksson in the first half for some wild lunges.

Uruguay meanwhile struggled to penetrate a resolute Jordanian defence, restricted to only a handful of unsuccessful attacks on goal.

Defender Diego Godin had the best chance for Uruguay, hitting the bar with an instinctive close-range header on the stroke of half-time.

It was a similar story in the second half, with captain Diego Lugano going closest on 60 minutes, rising unmarked to meet a corner but steering a downward header just wide.

The introduction of Uruguay veteran Diego Forlan for Nicolas Lodeiro just after the hour mark was unable to change the complexion of the game as the Jordanians hung on for a famous draw.

First Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013 07:04 PM
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