After all the excitement of the international break and the return of club football, we have all had a chance to let the 4 points that Uruguay has earned sink in. 3 points at home against bottom of the table Venezuela and the ever so precious away point in Barranquilla. Some good business for La Celeste as the door to Russia gets a little closer…

Suarez does it again, scoring another important goal for Uruguay.

Suarez does it again, scoring another important goal for Uruguay.

Uruguay in the Centenario have been perfect so far in the qualifiers, and have been for some time you have to go back to March 2013 against Paraguay for the last time Uruguay dropped points at home in world cup qualifying, since then it’s been smooth sailing at home. Not a single team has been able to score in the Centenario so far in qualifying and it sure looked like Venezuela’s Adalberto Peñaranda was going to break that run until he put his effort in front of an empty goal wide of the left post. Uruguay were pinned back by Venezuela in the first quarter of the match as Venezuela missed chance after chance. Flashbacks of the Copa America started to come back to haunt me. However later in the first half, it was Lodeiro of all people who erupted the stadium into joy. Uruguay’s worst player in the first quarter gave them the lead with a diving header off another Suarez cross. Uruguay would go on to dominate the rest of the game and 2 more goals from Cavani would make it a 3-0 win and 3 points. In Colombia, Uruguay went back to their default away setting against a strong team, where Tabarez sets up a 4-4-2 which evolves into the defensive 4-5-1 with Cavani pushed back into a defensive role leaving Suarez to fight for the scraps on his own. Uruguay fought well and held their ground against a good Colombian side, to take a point in Barranquilla. Cebolla Rodriguez proved his critics wrong and played a terrific game scoring a goal and showing why he still deserves to be around. Uruguay was lucky in the regard that the rainfall eliminated some of the heat. Some may say we should’ve won the game but most will be happy with the point.

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY - OCTOBER 06: Edinson Cavani of Uruguay celebrates with teammates after scoring the third goal of his team during a match between Uruguay and Venezuela as part of FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers at Centenario Stadium on October 06, 2016 in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Photo by Sandor Pereyra/LatinContent/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sandor Pereyra/LatinContent/Getty Images)

Some things to note after the two games….

How long can Arevalo Rios continue to hold our midfield?  Arevalo Rios continues to give us his all in a Celeste jersey but he is on the decline, and Uruguay will need to freshen up the center of the midfield. Vecino is a good start from Tabarez but there’s no way he can keep Arevalo Rios the main center piece of the midfield until Russia! Or will we see him fade away like Diego Perez he did before Brazil 2014. Keep in mind that Alvaro “Tata” Gonzalez wasn’t even called up for the two games and provides us with another option.

Suarez continues to light up the attack. There’s nothing better then seeing Suarez do what he does best. Suarez was once again amazing. Just look back at the highlights, Suarez is involved in almost everything delivering pass after pass fighting for everything Uruguay throws at him. Uruguay with Suarez is a different proposition and we all know that.

Coates has improved. In the absence of Gimenez, Sebastian Coates has come in and done a pretty good job. Coates has not only impressed for Uruguay but has done well for his club Sporting, scoring a couple goals recently and impressing in the league and Champions League. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the nod ahead of Gimenez in November with his fine form of late.

What about our fullbacks? After Caceres’s disappearance because of injury, we’ve been left with Gaston Silva who is a decent defender but is limited when offering something in the attack for Uruguay.  Gaston is naturally a center back who has been also played out wide at former club Torino. While Alvaro Pereira who replaced Gaston Silva because of injury is a mixed bag, cause you really never know what your going to get from him, against Colombia he played a good role, getting back in time to deny to provide the tackle of the game denying Colombia a breakaway. The right back position seems to be alright with Maxi Pereira who is solid and Corujo proving to be not that bad of a replacement. Does the return of Maxi Pereira mean Corujo moves into the midfield alongside Arevalo forming a double pivot like against Argentina… only time will tell?  Lots of questions, but with Uruguay it’s always unpredictable and more questions will be raised in November as we host Ecuador and then travel to Santiago to play the “Bi-Campeones de America” Chile.

 

Time for Some Math

calc

Let’s do some math and see where we are at in terms of qualifying to Brazil. Yes, that’s right for the first time we are going to calculate how Uruguay can not screw this up rather then how we can somehow squeeze our way in… No team has ever not qualified to the world cup after getting 20 points at this point which is a positive sign. We sit second in the table with 20 points and some tricky fixtures waiting for us, such as Chile away, Peru away and Argentina and Brazil at home. I’ve broken up the calculations into three categories…

Best Case Scenario:

Finish with 42-44 points, this would include wins at home to Argentina and Brazil and the away win in Santiago against Chile.

Worst Case Scenario:

Finish with 28-32 points, this would include only getting 8-12 points from our last 8 games. This would mean losing away to Chile, away to Peru, and away to Paraguay, while losing at home to Brazil and at most picking up a point at home against Argentina.

Most Likely to happen if we continue at this rate:

36-38 points, this would include sharing a point with Chile away, winning at home against Brazil but drawing Argentina at home or the other way around.

In total, it would take a complete meltdown for Uruguay not to make Russia 2018, at this point it’s safe to say that anywhere above 29 points will ensure direct qualification for Uruguay that means only 9 more points to go with 8 games to play, a healthy position to be in especially for Uruguay. There are endless possibilities to this unrepeatable waylaying campaign. It also looks like it’s going to be a tight and interesting race for the 4th and 5th places, with Ecuador, Paraguay, Chile and even Argentina being thrown into that fight. Below is a link to a simulator where we can all work out and simulate possible results for the remainder of the qualifying campaign.

http://ultra.zone/2018-FIFA-World-Cup-qualification-CONMEBOL

 

My Experience in Uruguay

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On a personal note It was quite a special round of qualifying for me personally because for the first time ever I got to experience La Celeste up close and personal in the Centenario. My family went down to Uruguay for a one-week vacation and bought tickets to the Venezuela match. The experience was breathtaking, standing there soaking in the wonderful atmosphere and the packed stadium. It was truly an experience I will never forget complemented with a great game and result for Uruguay.

A day earlier, me and my family visited the Complejo Celeste in hopes of seeing someone or getting a glimpse of the practice, there was nobody there when we arrived and we asked the guard who was very hesitant to give us any information about the practice but only said that they would be practicing in the afternoon. I left a little disappointed not being able to see anybody but as I walked away I saw Tabarez’s right hand man, Celso Otero taking a walk around the field in the morning. I pounced on the opportunity and my parents and I ran over to introduce ourselves and asked if it was possible we could see some of the players. The whole conversation was separated by the front fence to the from field in the complejo. Celso reacted angrily saying that the players do not want any fan disturbances before such a crucial game. I felt kind of embarrassed realizing that what he said was true. We told him we came all the way from Canada for the game and walked away, in that moment Celso walked over to the guard told him to get our phone numbers and names and that the Complejo would contact us when the best time would be to come and get a view of La Celeste. I guess he kind of felt bad for us or something but I didn’t care I was overwhelmed!  A day later the game would go by, we would all celebrate and by the time I got back to where I was staying, everybody crashed after an exhausting experience at the game. However falling asleep would prove a mistake because, me and my family woke up the following afternoon at 1:00 and woke up to a missed WhatsApp message from the man himself… Celso Otero who personally invited us inside the Complejo Celeste at 11:00 in the morning to have a meet and greet with the players, the chance was gone. Had we checked our phone that night we got home from the game we would have seen the message. I was devastated at the missed opportunity. In this roller coaster of emotions, I decided to give it another shot by showing up to the Complejo on Saturday for Uruguay’s final practice before embarking to Colombia. I waited with my father outside the Complejo for hours hoping to see any players coming in, we got lucky and some cars stopped for the few fans outside the complejo including Muslera, Arevalo Rios, Gaston Silva, Ricca, Laxalt, Rolan, Sanchez, Vecino, Loderio, Corujo and the best of all Suarez!

 

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If that was lucky then I hit the lottery soon after when Celso Otero gave us another chance, and again invited us personally inside the Complejo Celeste to watch the practice and see everyone! I already met most of the team outside the complejo, now I was able to actually go inside watch them practice and meet them up close and personal, I couldn’t believe it. There you have it, one of the best days of my life. I drove inside through the security at the Complejo feeling like a true VIP, my father parked right beside Luis Suarez’s car and my family and I got off to watch the practice. The only other people that were there other than us, were kids from the two schools that the national team funds in Rivera. I watched the practice up close and enjoyed viewing every detail. Suarez was so into the practice and his competitive attitude could be felt from a distance while Cavani seemed serious and wasn’t very friendly he and Coates were the only players to not meet and greet with the fans, they went straight inside the complejo following the practice. Suarez was a nice person with a strong personalty, don’t make him mad otherwise he’ll leave, as he left the fans early after a women almost jumped on top of him and complained, Suarez replied”If I signed every shirt and took every picture I’d be here all day, I’m sorry but I have to go.” Suarez is like you seem him on TV he is playful and competitive with his teammates in practice and seeing him up close not only once but twice is something I’ll never forget. I’m sure he recognized me from outside the complejo and wondered how the hell I was able to get in!  Cebolla Rodriguez approached me and was friendly taking a picture and signing my jersey and even claiming that he will be back in Uruguay to play for Penarol in 8 months. One of the best moments was when Diego Godin grabbed me by the shoulder to have a conversation and ask how I was doing, it was small talk and I told him how much I looked up to him being a center back and sometimes captain myself, Godin took some pictures and signed my jersey.  After taking pictures with most of the players, I was able to catch Tabarez riding away into the complejo and jumped on the opportunity to ask for a picture, he was very friendly asking where we came from and thanking us for the support all the way from Canada. I was star struck… below I have some more pictures of this wonderful experience!

 

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Alessandro Viña Alessandro Viña 4 like
NicoGF
Admin
Urucan, if you are just worried about firing those balls we missed and the non call by the referee, you are just worried about isolated results, yes, we could have won, we could have tied, we could have lost too and we did, the problem here is being clueless as to how to move the ball from our defense to the back of the net is not a way to go for a real wc contender. We said it after every result, regardless of the “little number”, we will HAVE to defeat teams like spain, germany, france, chile, arg, bra… Read more »
Dutchfan
Member

“Tabarez will never change his ways, he wants to show the people who’s boss.” Yes, he always wanted to show this. But now he’s beyond this. His mind has gone up in smoke. He’s only a straw man on the bench. The AUF know the people adore him, so they keep him on the bench. Otero is doing the honours. But in this situation nothing can be changed. It would be offensive to Tabarez to suddenly play D’Arrascaeta eg. So everything is frozen and change is impossible.

KangaCeleste
Member

Hard game to talk about. First 35 we looked great. We even passed it around and well.

If we lose to brazil that lead we have disappears. Where did I put that calculator.

FourThreeThree
Member
Being still in 2nd place after 2/3 of the way is still very good. I would expect that we get at least 3 points in each of the next rounds which would get us 32 points. Will probably lose to Brazil and tie with Argentina. Uruguay (10 pts) – Home 6W 0D 0L Away 1W 2D 3L 8GF 10GA (incl the top teams like Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile) – H vs Brazil (L) – A vs Peru (W) – H vs Argentina (D) – A vs Paraguay (W) – A vs Venezuela (W) – H vs Bolivia (W) Ecuador… Read more »
Yorugua
Admin
@433 – On Ramirez, he scored a brilliant goal in the Premiership recently (I remember seeing it on Twitter) – OWT usually uses him as a cooler-king, “enfriar el partido” but he was brought on as spark-plug, the way I read his insertion, he was hoping to squeeze an extra pass, a lucky corner-kick, a hopeful set-piece, but that’s too much pressure to put on Ramirez, I haven’t seen anything to suggest that in a NT jersey he can be that guy. I think Tabarez is looking for a “Super-Sub” but we all know Ramirez isn’t that guy. You would… Read more »
NicoGF
Admin

——–suarez—cavani

—pereiro
———–gda———-pato
—————-porras
espino———————-alex silva
———godin–josema

————–conde

Btw go check out my article http://www.facebook.com/lacelesteblog “baño de humildad en el mar rojo”

Yorugua
Admin

And there you go…. haha.

plaga9celeste
Member
i’ve been beating on this dead horse forever.. but i want someone to challenge me (i know you are out there) and tell me that el mono should remain as the right marker? that was a 2 stretching the points.. the horse is dead all right.. next horse: why all this marking.. getting non-striking players near the goal? for what? and where is the marking when you need it..? mark mark mark and then get 3 goals against you? and now we want to attack with “playmakers”? muslera was terrible today.. that 2 avoidable goals.. as usual terrible with his… Read more »
URUCAN
Member

dont worry…you’re wrong

KangaCeleste
Member

Yeah mono wasn’t good today. Doesn’t mean he is a bad player but corujo has looked great and fast and then mono comes back and he is benched. Shame.

URUCAN
Member

really and truly…complain about everything you guys want….but if muslera isnt sleeping and that penalty is called and it was a penalty and a damn half in the first half. we win this game…worse case tie. but as usual on this blog…when we win…1 or 2 comments when we lose…everybody is pissing and moaning. 🙂

Yorugua
Admin

@Urucan ––– That Avatar is insane!
Where’s Donald Trump when you need him 😉

Yorugua
Admin
@P9C • Mono is old as shit – but some of these lineups suggest he’s looking at temperament besides talent, Mono can mix it up if need be –– lets not rush to judgement here, you still need a couple of random assholes to be in the game just in case you have to run the asshole playbook – unfortunately, Gonzalez looked like he wasn’t in it and Mono looked old, old as shit… oh wait I already said that – I think Chile ran the asshole playbook to perfection, but the biggest problem was Tabarez not taking out Suarez… Read more »
Adjai
Member
That was horrible, Uruguay completely outplayed today. First of all lets talk about the substitutions. Ramirez and lodeiro… instead of Arrascaeta.. Arrascaeta is in the absolute form of his life with 18 assist and 12 or 13 goals this year but he has yet to make his debut in the qualifiers… Ramirez and Lodeiro made so many errors in the little playing time they got. I see uruguayan fans on twitter making excuses like the ref was bad and such but the truth is, Uruguay just didnt stand a chance against a team who actually plays attacking football like that.… Read more »
jkmj
Member

Trash. One of the the laziest performances I have ever seen from Uruguay. Just long balls over and over???? We didn’t even win a single 50/50 and Suarez can’t even score a penalty. I am livid

Dutchfan
Member

Tabarez was hardly aware of what was happening on the pitch. But he earns the money and the credits for probably one of the best qualifications ever.
Otero was doing the actual coaching and earns the succession of the job.
In this power vacuum the players played rather unorganised, but as long as they win, who cares?
And they won, so this is really a win-win-win situation.

Yorugua
Admin

The Old Man is a genius as long as the results back him up, when the results don’t back him up, its OK to question him –– The truth is there’s been 3 straight early exits from major tournaments. But who knows, just when we think we got the Old Man figured out he draws a rabbit out of the hat.

jkmj
Member

Not the most thrilling game be we were not bad, although we conceded our first home goal. It’ll be interesting to see how we fair against Chile

plaga9celeste
Member

terrible game to me.. the ecuador B team boxed us under our own goal for most of the 2nd half.. cannot give the entire pitch like that..
suarez even more isolated than usual..
can’t expect miracles i guess with “play-makers” like rolan..
it looked like they were running over us at times..
got to be a lot better to expect anything out of the santiago game..

KangaCeleste
Member

If trump wins do Chile get more free points?

wpDiscuz
 

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