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banner Sunday, 25 November, 2001, 21:06 GMT
Uruguay end Aussie dream
Recoba was outstanding for Uruguay
Recoba was outstanding for Uruguay
Uruguay 3-0 Australia
(3-1 on aggregate)

Uruguay deservedly overcame a first-leg deficit against Australia to claim the 32nd and final place at next summer's World Cup finals in Korea and Japan.

The South American team trailed 1-0 after Tuesday's game in Melbourne but played with great flair and conviction in Montevideo to reach football's showcase finals for the first time since 1990.

A first-half strike from Mario Silva and two goals in the last 20 minutes from substitute Richard Morales were just reward for a determined performance by Victor Pua's team.

  Key moments
14 mins: Silva opens the scoring
17 mins: Viduka thwarted by Carini
37 mins: Schwarzer saves to deny Magallanes
70 mins: Morales extends Urguay's lead
90 mins: Morales scores again

Alvaro Recoba was outstanding for Uruguay and the Socceroos struggled to deal with his cultured left-footed shots and crosses.

Australia did create scoring opportunities, but Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Shaun Murphy were unable to convert the chances that came their way.

Unchanged from Melbourne, they had the first chance of the game in the second minute but Brett Emerton shot wide from a tight angle.

A minute later Dario Rodriguez volleyed inches over Mark Schwarzer's goal from 30 yards, setting the tone for a period of Uruguayan dominance.

The home team opened the scoring - and levelled the tie on aggregate - through Mario Silva after 14 minutes.

The striker has only just recovered from a dislocated collarbone but passed a late fitnes test and quickly justified his selection.


It is a massive blow - Soccer Australia is in trouble financially, so they were counting on this to boost the game
Robbie Slater

Silva latched onto an optimistic through ball and shrugged off the challenge of Murphy before sliding the ball past Schwarzer.

Viduka almost equalised for the Socceroos three minutes after Uruguay's goal.

But Fabian Carini made a brilliant save to parry the striker's header around the post for a corner.

The Socceroos defence struggled to deal with a cross from Mario Regueiro midway through the half but Muscat brilliantly cleared off his own line.

With the break looming, Schwarzer superbly saved with his legs to thwart Federico Magallanes after the Socceroos had once again been exposed by Uruguay's slick attacking play.

Late strikes

Josik Skoko's shot was deflected just wide of the Uruguayan goal after 53 minutes.

And 11 minutes later a long-throw into the home team's penalty area caused chaos but Viduka could only head over from close range.

But after 70 minutes the tie swung decisively in the South American team's favour.

Alvaro Recoba whipped a superb free-kick into the Australian penalty area and substitute Morales put Uruguay in the lead with a glancing header.

Harry Kewell in action for Australia against Uruguay
Disappointment for Leeds United's Kewell

Morales was booked for his extravagant celebrations.

The Socceroos, knowing an away goal would put them ahead in the tie on aggregate, pushed forward.

Emerton's corner almost resulted in a goal but Murphy's header was tipped over by Carini.

Morales put the tie beyond doubt - and guaranteed Uruguay's place in next year's World Cup finals - with his second goal of the match in the 90th minute.

He latched onto Recoba's pass and slipped the ball past Schwarzer to spark wild scenes of celebrations inside the Estadio Centanario.


Uruguay: Carini, Tais, Lembo, Montero, Rodriguez, Guigou, Garcia, Recoba, Regueiro, Silva, Magallanes.

Australia: Schwarzer, Muscat, Moore, Okon, Vidmar, Murphy, Emerton, Skoko, Kewell, Viduka, Lazaridis.

Referee: Ali Bujsaim (United Arab Emirates)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Tim Vickery
"The sun went out on Australia's World Cup dream"
Australia coach Frank Farina
"It's hard to accept"
Other top World Cup 2002 stories:

Links to more World Cup 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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