Last Updated:

Luis Suarez's Uruguay Risks Missing FIFA World Cup Berth After Bolivia Defeat

Two-time World Cup champion Uruguay will finish the year out of qualifying positions for a spot in Qatar, likely in seventh place in the 10-team round robin com

Uruguay, World Cup Qualifiers

Image: AP


Two-time World Cup champion Uruguay will finish the year out of qualifying positions for a spot in Qatar, likely in seventh place in the 10-team round robin competition.

The squad with veteran strikers Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani lost 3-0 at Bolivia on Tuesday and will have to make it up in the four remaining matches to reach the tournament it has played in consecutively since 2010.

Uruguay will finish Tuesday’s round in seventh position in South American qualifiers unless Chile and Colombia suffer heavy losses at home against Ecuador and Paraguay, respectively.

The top four teams in South America earn direct entry to the World Cup. The fifth-place team goes into an intercontinental playoff for a spot in Qatar next year.

Bolivia opened the scoring in the 30th minute when goalkeeper Fernando Muslera failed to hold Juan Carlos Arce’s cross. Marcelo Martins got the second in the altitude of La Paz with a header in the 45th.

Arce put the final numbers on the scoreboard in the 79th minute with another header. It could have been worse for Uruguay had Bolivia not missed a penalty in the second half.

Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez said in a press conference he’s not “throwing in the towel.”

“I am a professional, I signed a contract and it says everything I need to do,” the veteran coach said. “I don’t know who can ask me to do that (resign) after this time at work.”

During his second spell with Uruguay, Tabárez took the team to the past three World Cups, including a memorable campaign to the semifinals in South Africa in 2010. He has also won the 2011 Copa America.

Brazil leads South American qualifiers with 34 points, six ahead of second place Argentina. Both teams have completed 12 games, one fewer than they should because their encounter in September was suspended after seven minutes due to COVID-19 protocols. FIFA will decide what to do with the match. The two rivals face off later in San Juan.

Regardless of its result against Chile, Ecuador, with 20 points, will remain in third position.

Peru skipped ahead of Uruguay after a 2-1 win at Venezuela, putting Ricardo Gareca’s team momentarily in the fourth position with 17 points.

Gianluca Lapadula opened the scoring for the visitors in the 18th minute. Venezuela’s Darwin Machis equalized in the 52nd minute. Christian Cueva netted the winner in the 65th minute, with Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese saving a penalty to keep his team in the lead.

Uruguay will play at Paraguay and Chile and host Venezuela and Peru in its decisive matches of World Cup qualifiers next year.

First Published:
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com