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

47 Responses so far.

  1. NicoGF NicoGF says:

    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 by the time the tourney begins, so we can moan alll we want that this is the ref fault, that uruguay always “won the ugly way” and that fifa and the universe are against us, but by seeing the top of the iceberg we wont address the root cause, and we can end up making colombia 2014 look like spain 2010. We are not little, our mentality is. We have world class players, and a middle class coaching staff, bring me munua 🙂 someone 45- yo.

    Current score: 2
  2. Dutchfan Dutchfan says:

    “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.

    Current score: 1
  3. KangaCeleste KangaCeleste says:

    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.

    Current score: 1
    • FourThreeThree FourThreeThree says:

      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 (9 pts) – Home 4W 1D 1L Away 2W 1D 3L
      – A vs Paraguay (L)
      – H vs Colombia (W) in Quito
      – A vs Brazil (L)
      – H vs Peru (W)
      – A vs Chile (L)
      – H vs Argentina (W)

      Chile (9 pts) – Home 4W 1D 1L Away 2W 1D 3L
      – A vs Argentina (L)
      – H vs Venezuela (W)
      – H vs Paraguay (W)
      – A vs Bolivia (L)
      – H vs Ecuador (W)
      – A vs Brazil (L)

      Argentina (10 pts) – Home 3W 1D 3L Away 2W 3D 1L
      – H vs Chile (W)
      – A vs Bolivia (L)
      – A vs Uruguay (D)
      – H vs Venezuela (W)
      – H vs Peru (W)
      – A vs Ecuador (L)

      Colombia (9 pts) – Home 3W 2D 1L Away 2W 1D 3L
      – H vs Bolivia (W)
      – A vs Ecuador (L)
      – A vs Venezuela (W)
      – H vs Brazil (L)
      – H vs Paraguya (W)
      – A vs Peru (L)

      Our spotless home record is the only reason we are where we are, with 24GF 11 GA. Away we have 8GF 10GA.

      What the calculator cannot compute is why Alvaro Gonzalez, Maxi Pereira, Arevalo Rios. Why Ramirez and Lodeiro, and not deArrascaeta?

      I was shocked to hear from the BEIN commentator that Ramirez has been capped 41 times, tying Jose Nasazzi and only 4 away from Varela. It just feel wrong.

      Current score: 1
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @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 need a Forlan-Type, Do-it all Has-Been still sorta capable of giving you 15 to 20 minutes, too bad Forlan got old, this could’ve been the role he would’ve excelled at….. El Camino es la Recompensa is treacherous road indeed.

      Current score: 0
  4. NicoGF NicoGF says:

    ——–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”

    Current score: 3
  5. plaga9celeste plaga9celeste says:

    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 feet.. a solid 3..

    coates was okey.. but the one red wire he had to cut couldn’t even foul the guy.. a long 4

    godin left vargas alone to score..? come on.. a 4 for him too
    vecino was somehow adequate.. missed more than he made.. a 5..

    egidio.. oh man.. nominal.. invisible.. another one that cannot start anymore.. 3

    sanchez a missing pass machine.. 4

    silva was not a traffic cone on the left like mono but didn’t really do anything special.. 5

    tata.. worse than ever.. unnecessary tactical start that exposed this cavern-concept to put in a lot of marking.. only to end up losing anyway.. and by 2 goal difference.. 3

    suarez could have been maybe a 6 because he did have some moments.. really frustrated in the 2nd half did nothing except bitch at the ref, his team-mates for not giving the perfect pass (i don’t know how he expects better service.. shouldn’t you bitch at tabarez in the practices luis? maybe he’ll listen to you and play giorgian for a few minutes) and a missed a penalty nailed the coffin.. down to a 4..

    cavani another 4.. always wasting 80% of the balls that he touches.. man.. why can’t you practice some simple passing..? an how about looking at the goal-keeper before shooting so you can just tap it where he is not?

    the two impostors that came in late were not worthy of much.. maybe ramirez gets a 5 for the penalty play..

    tabarez gets a 3 for being a viejo amarrete hijode1000puta..
    mostly because of how he configured the team against an opponent that is psychologically inferior but that grows in confidence as they realize that we are not that hard to beat on the road since all we do is mark and chunk it upfield hoping for the suarez miracle.. hello.. tabarez.. they are horrible on their backline.. we could have score 4 goals with a 3rd guy setting things up.. not tata or sanchez.. a real playmaker..

    i predict this team will go cold on the next round and make these qualifiers a lot closer than they could have been..
    the team is running on fumes.. hope i’m wrong..

    Current score: 1
    • URUCAN URUCAN says:

      dont worry…you’re wrong

      Current score: 1
    • KangaCeleste KangaCeleste says:

      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.

      Current score: 1
    • URUCAN URUCAN says:

      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. 🙂

      Current score: 3
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

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

      Current score: 0
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @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 sooner, now we lose him for the Brazil game which we need but hey, el camino es la recompensa…. its gotta be this way, not only does Suarez have to learn to dial it down, but we need to dial it down too, here we thought we were going via direct qualification and here we are dusting off the calculators ––– regardless of what happens, enjoy this time, South American Qualifiers are the best in the world.

      Current score: 0
 

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