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Australia-Uruguay Crash for World Cup Final Spot

Posted November. 24, 2001 11:45,   


"We are not going to lose the last ticket for the World Cup."

Oceanic No.1 Australia and South American Uruguay will contend for the last ticket of the 2002 World Cup. The first place of the Oceania Australia and the fifth place of South America Uruguay are supposed to have the playoff second game at Montevideo, Uruguay on 26th morning (Korean Time).

The acquisition of the World Cup berth is the very serious matter for both countries. Uruguay has drunk the cup of humiliation two times in 1994 and 1998 since the 1990 Italy World Cup, and Australia has tasted the bitterness of defeat six times since the 1974 Germany World Cup.

Therefore, for both teams that have been desperately hunger for the World Cup appearance for the past 12 years and 28 years respectively, this game must be a decisive battle.

Since Australia defeated Uruguay 1-0 in the first leg of a home-and-home, total-goals series for the final spot, it surely has an advantage. However, Uruguay will devote its all energy to seek for a great reverse in the second leg at home.

Even though Uruguay was defeated in the fist game, it will be able to turn the table with an over-two-goal-difference victory. In case of Uruguay`s 1-0 victory, the extended game will be held. The first-game winner Australia has some advantage in this total-goals series, because it can win a ticket even in case of its1-2 defeat according to the principle prioritizing the team that earns more scores in away game.

The atmosphere of final match began to boil from the day when Australia`s soccer team arrived in Montevideo on 22nd. When the Australians emerged from the airport customs, Uruguay fans crowded around them and shouted insults, and one fan threw a punch that struck an Australian player on the shoulder. And following the request of the Australian government, about 800 Uruguay policemen had to escort the Australians.

Australia sent exclusive chefs for the health management of the players, presenting how perfectly the Australian team has prepared for this final match.

Since returning to their home country by a special military flight, the Uruguay team has concentrated only on this match through the secret practice.

Australia will try to secure the final spot with physical and speedy midfielders such as Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton. On the other hand, Uruguay will try to reverse by using even striker Dario Silva who missed the game one due to shoulder injury.