Another round of World Cup qualifying has passed us by. This time things were not as smooth for Uruguay. Uruguay just failed to get going despite getting the three points at home to Ecuador and then managing to sink to a 3-1 loss away to Chile.

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Alexis Sanchez leaves Uruguay in the dust after scoring Chile’s third goal of the night.

 

Traces of poor concentration and poor play could be traced back to the Ecuador game. Uruguay beat Ecuador in the Centenario yes, but let’s look at the facts, we got the points despite playing poorly in the second half. Uruguay was lucky because a full strength Ecuador team could have caused some damage and could have taken a point away considering how we played in the second half. Ecuador’s defence was poor as usual and Uruguay took advantage of poor marking to allow Coates to put away the first goal.  Ecuador was without some key players; Enner Valencia, Antonio Valencia and Jefferson Montero.  Gaston Silva would of had difficulty containing the experienced Antonio Valencia. Despite the absence of their main players, Ecuador fought on and equalized through Felipe Caicedo before Rolan would score the game’s final goal right after. Ecuador came close to equalizing in the second half but what mattered was the three points. Anyways the press in Uruguay ignored the poor performance and focused on the three points essentially writing this off as an one off. A sense of complacency was starting to creep in.

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This supposed lead that Uruguay had is now shrinking in front of our own eyes after the defeat to Chile, as the difference between second and fourth placed Chile is three points while even fifth placed Argentina is only 4 points. Defeat at the hands of Chile always hurts but it didn’t seem like it would after the opening half an hour was played in Santiago, because Uruguay were playing well and Chile looked nervous and off. Cavani fired home a good finish from an amazing Suarez play to give us the lead. Uruguay continued to press and really should of had an penalty kick after Bravo raced off his line to bring down Cavani, it was a really poor call from the referee who didn’t have the best of games in my opinion. Honestly Uruguay really could of been 2 or 3 nothing up in the first half with the non-call from the referee and the chances missed by Cavani, but that’s football for you and we can’t make any excuses because as the game went on Uruguay’s performance dipped and we sat back and we once again invited the opponent. A lapse in concentration and poor defensive covering allowed for Vargas to equalize and poor goalkeeping from Muslera allowed Sanchez to score, a shot that really should’ve been saved. The third goal was a nice one from Sanchez but just a summary of the night before it was all topped off by Suarez’s penalty miss which you could feel coming from the moment he picked up the ball. Below are the highlights of the match against Chile.

 

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Now in typical Uruguay fashion we tend to question Tabarez after any loss, why throw on Ramirez for Sanchez, why Lodeiro? Arevalo Rios looked like a spectator out there, barely having the legs to keep up with Chile’s outpouring bursts in the midfield. I liked the look of Vecino in the game, getting forward trying to set things up  Álvaro Gonzalez and Arevalo Rios were a step behind him. Gonzalez hasn’t played a single minute for his club Lazio this season and hasn’t featured in a game in nearly 5 months’ time, yet he still found a way into the team. Alvaro Gonzalez wasn’t awful but still lacked that usual “Tata” edge we get in the big games from him. I’ll also mention the lack of attacking edge Gaston Silva brings to the team as a full back, he’s a good defender and a more solid choice in my opinion then Alvaro Pereira but I’m sure we all miss the old Caceres a lot more by this point. Uruguay will definitely need some change going forward but at this rate we will most likely finish the qualifying campaign with mostly the same players. We are an aging team and you can just look at the setup and tell we need some youth, some spark like we once had in 2010 and 2011. Now I don’t ask for extreme change because that will not benefit the team but if we can keep an strong base of the team and surround it with some youth I think that will really benefit the national team. That base for me is; Muslera, Gimenez, Godin, Vecino, Sanchez, Suarez, Cavani, that leaves us with four spots. Four spots to fill with players that will provide a more positive outlook on the team, Uruguay needs to remain an defensive team but we need to find a balance, a point where we can transition from sitting back to going onto the attack during games rather than just sitting back once we score and sending pelotazos to Suarez hoping for the best. Let’s be honest we may have better individual players in key positions than Chile but their style of play topped us on the night. Uruguay can’t keep coming into big games and bringing this negative approach because it doesn’t always work, we lose in Argentina, yes we tied Colombia away and here we lost to Chile that’s three games where Uruguay has failed to win and could of won with a better style of play. Honestly just a few things need to be fixed and if we can get Uruguay up and running as a team that focus on defending first but can effectively counter attack and transition nicely between attacking and defining like Atletico Madrid does then we will be in very good shape for the next World Cup. Overall throughout the two games, Uruguay really didn’t consistently look like the Uruguay we’ve seen for the majority of these qualifiers we looked out of it. We suffered from poor lapses in concentration to goalkeeping errors, honestly Muslera saves Sanchez’s second goal we could have maybe taken an point. Of course let’s not even go back to the horrible decision to ignore a clear penalty for Uruguay in the first half which really could’ve changed the course of the game. Yes, those are important factors in the game but overall when those things don’t go your way in your game it comes down to your ability and style of play that can put you back in a good position in the game.

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Suarez Battles for the ball against Chile’s Jara

I think a sense of complacency was in Uruguay’s mind. There really was no pressure coming into these two games because of the points already picked up and lead we had in the table, which is starting to shrink. Anyways let’s not get too technical now and focus on the most important objective which is to book a place in Russia 2018. Usually, Uruguay experiences a dip in form during World Cup qualifying, we haven’t seen that yet and now is it not the time to see it, because a loss against Brazil in March means we could move down to as low as 4th place. That would throw us intothe mix of teams fighting for places and the lead we once had is gone and the calculator which we thought was put away is taken out of our pockets again to crunch all the numbers for La Celeste. It’s a tough call to beat Brazil without Suarez and Muslera even if we are at home. But I think a point against Brazil in the Centenario is a real possibility. Judging by the way these qualifiers are going to confirm your place in Russia it’s going to take anywhere above 28 points at the least, I would even expect 30 points if you want to avoid the ever so usual “repechaje.” Uruguay should only need 6 more points with 6 games left. It is however a little premature to look beyond the games in March because Uruguay is not in any real trouble yet but if we can get at lest 4 points in March against Brazil and Peru then I think we can put away our calculators for good. Then again, anything can happen with Uruguay honestly we could lose our next two games or even win them, that’s the beauty of supporting this team you never really know what you’re going to get. One thing is for certain, that the qualifiers are back on for us again and it starts in March against Brazil.

 

 

 

Alessandro Viña Alessandro Viña 2 like

30 Responses so far.

  1. NicoGF NicoGF says:

    “Let’s be honest we may have better individual players in key positions than Chile but their style of play topped us on the night” ditto ale

    Current score: 2
  2. Varamimbre Varamimbre says:

    great articles and comments !!! This is one time when it wouldnt bother me for La Celeste to go thru the repechaje as i live in Australia and could go watch them !!! hahah But that would be selfish.

    After crunching all possible scenarios it only leaves like a very low percentage for us not making it to Russia .

    If im not mistaken those three goals gifted to chile will have a big SAY come the end games of qualification.

    Cheers

    Current score: 1
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      No more Repechajes please – Direct Qualification, the final brick in the wall… We need it, we want it.

      Current score: 4
  3. plaga9celeste plaga9celeste says:

    this may belong in the “off-topic” but needs to be known..
    ajajajaja.. too good..
    the little empire of excrement may be hanging by a thread.. stay tunned..

    http://www.ovaciondigital.com.uy/futbol/auf-derechos-tv-tenfield-fox-terner.html

    Current score: 1
    • plaga9celeste plaga9celeste says:

      of course la AUF does not inspire a lot of trust..
      they have committed to “pumaco” already although nike thinks it was too late..

      http://www.ovaciondigital.com.uy/futbol/nike-puma-tenfield.html

      like i said this little tenfield has la celeste and the uru league.. and that’s it.. they cannot compete for TV rights with FOX, espn or others..
      without the “handout” by la AUF they could have nothing..

      the opportunity to break them in half is so preciously presenting itself.. of course the dirty paco-dependent AUF will not do it.. you can book that..

      Current score: 2
    • FourThreeThree FourThreeThree says:

      The Tenfield/Puma vs Nike turmoil shows that the AUF and club owners are way out of their league, have no idea of what the actual worth Uruguayan soccer, have no long term vision. It is time they ask for help from abroad. I am sure that whatever commission they have to pay for an advisor will pay itself by the increased revenues.

      Current score: 2
  4. KangaCeleste KangaCeleste says:

    3 points every double header round.

    Get that and we are sweet.

    Brazil – Peru
    Argentina – Paraguay
    Bolivia – Venezuela (swapped order but showing who’s home and away).

    Cmon guys, this shouldn’t be hard.

    Current score: 1
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @KC
      Biggest problems is the douche-bag associations looking up, like Argentina, Chile, Ecuador –– what’s helping Uy is Colombia going off the rails – but we knew that would happen since Hamez (James) is luke-warm at Madrid.

      Chile has a lot of CONMEBOL power now, they’re filling that void Argentina left behind when Grondona died.

      … Argentina and Brazil games will be tough. The Paraguay game will be tough too, those assholes don’t always know when to roll over and die.

      Venezuela will be up for the Uy match … Bolivia is a guaranteed win.

      What we really need is another Messi hissy fit, now they’re all paranoid cuz Martin Liberman is calling them on their bullshit.

      I think Argentina without any favors will end up in 5th place – if CONMEBOL is still rotten to the core, they jump 2 places.

      Current score: 1
  5. plaga9celeste plaga9celeste says:

    i’m holding muslera responsible for the 3rd goal as well.. it may be a little of a stretch in others’ opinions but look at the situation: it’s a long ball.. sanchez is coming in, full steam in between 2 defenders, coates and silva.. coates, who just should have fouled him as he met with him, is running glued to alexis.. silva on the other side.. sanchez keeps the ball away nicely and shifts it to his left.. but he is “in extremis” being harassed by coates and a little out of balance.. muslera stays back just enough to offer him a half meter spot on the right post.. and right there he sticks the agonic left footed shot..
    bad goalkeeping.. he needed to come forward another meter and the hole would have been covered.. he had no shot to go diagonal, opposite post..
    muslera’s fundamentals.. all of them, are poor.. ha has the good reflexes, but he’s streaky.. and sits still without reaction many times..
    his game outside the small box is non-existent.. missed-timed, timid, and often leads to goals for the opposition..
    and his game with his feet is terrible..

    Current score: 0
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @P9C – I’m holding the All-Black kit responsible… when he dresses like a Used Tampon or “You Can See Me from the Moon” Neon-Yellow, his keeping is slightly better.

      Current score: 1
    • FourThreeThree FourThreeThree says:

      @ Y
      I don’t exactly the reason why Muslera is wearing black. I thought it was somehow a tribute to Ladislao Mazurkiewicz who always wore black, like his idol Yashin. I remember an interview with Mazurkiewicz where he wondered why GK are so brightly coloured that the player striking the ball can easily gauge out of the coner of his eye where the GK, whereas a GK in black is harder to detect.

      Current score: 3
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @433 – Actually I think the Colored Kits do a better job of distracting strikers, and even tho I’m too lazy to get into empirical evidence of any kind that would prove my opinion, most of the goals where Muslera gets victimized are usually from outside the box (remember Hamez’ goal in 2014 or Holland’s goals in 2010) – I think, am I 100% sure, No. But as this opinion has already been uploaded as I type this, I’m going to stand by it.

      Current score: 1
  6. Yorugua Yorugua says:

    Good Article – I would venture to say this was Complacency + Taba’s willingness to sacrifice points.

    A draw would’ve been Birthday Cake, a loss is fine given that the game was in Santiago but now there’s no room for error as far as points go.

    Losing Suarez could’ve been avoided, I’m not remembering the sequence of events too well, but I would’ve yanked him when Cavani’s take-down by Bravo wasn’t ruled a penalty. Suarez went off the reservation, we knew going in he had a yellow and then Taba didn’t sub him out. Bottom line you don’t want Suarez in the red-zone, when that dude gets angry, he gets sloppy, and begins exhibiting nut-job behavior… but OK it’s easier to second-guess Taba after the game is played.

    I’m not liking our chances with a renewed Brazil at Montevideo – No Suarez… No Muslera. It could be that this second half against Chile will ultimately cost us 6 points.

    At this point, start looking for the calculator… just in case we need it.

    Current score: 1
    • KangaCeleste KangaCeleste says:

      Y I’m in the suarez is a crazy unhinged genius group.

      But being fair he has carried this yellow since the brazil game. He has been very careful.

      And that yellow against Chile was bull crap. Never ever a yellow.

      Current score: 1
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @KC and the Sunshine Band,

      Not meant as a diss on Luisito, God Forbid, I’m saying Tabarez wasn’t reading the game and what was going on, once he saw Luisito go bonkers on the penalty not being called he should’ve pulled him as a precaution, I agree the yellow he got wasn’t a yellow but we knew the Chileans who are still in the “Lets Climb Mt. Everest mindset” want to screw Uy as much as possible, a yellow here, 3 points lost, 3 in March and Chile climbs up the ladder.

      Tabarez and crew need to stay in the game, no time for torta fritas and mate, they need espresso shots and some cocaine to keep them awake.

      Current score: 1
    • plaga9celeste plaga9celeste says:

      @yoru.. the fact that he started tata.. fat, cold and without any recent competition proves that they do mostly sleeping at the complejo celeste..

      Current score: 2
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @P9C – this is very true, it could be that he’s running out of assholes to field, so besides a playmaker, he needs to find new assholes…. tough order.

      Current score: 1
  7. TaurusZA says:

    It’s been another interesting round of matches in South American qualifying and the lead has shrunk. If we had beaten Chile and had capitalised on the wonderful start we made, we would have had one foot in Russia. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

    The good news is that we are still three points ahead in second place, and our goal difference means that it’s essentially four points ahead – we will stay in second place even if we lose to Brazil.

    Also, the table has essentially remained as is; when we look at what our rivals have achieved compared to us, nothing has really changed (with the exception of Chile). Uruguay has “only” gained three points in this round, but think about this:

    Brazil has gained 6 points and are streaming ahead. Was that unexpected?

    Ecuador and Argentina have both gained only 3 points, just like us. There’s no difference to how things were last time around.

    Colombia has gained only one point. This means that we have extended our lead over them since last time.

    Paraguay has gained no points. I’m really disappointed in their performance as I thought they were better than this. I would now say that they are out.

    Peru has benefited from Bolivia’s mess and has gained six points (three gifted to them by FIFA). But are they really serious contenders for a place in Russia? I don’t think so, although they can and will cause problems for good teams (hopefully not for us).

    Chile were the big winners and it seems as though FIFA is hell-bent on getting them to Russia. They actually scored seven points in this round of matches (more than the maximum) and the team is thriving on the momentum gained. The referee’s refusal to award us a clear penalty also changed the outcome of the match in Santiago and caused the “mar rojo” that Nico so brilliantly describes. I thought Chile would struggle to qualify, but it seems as though it will be a cakewalk now.

    Apart from Chile’s move up the table, though, what has actually changed since last time? We’re still where we were, but there are now two games less to worry about and our rivals are running out of matches to overtake us.

    The next round is going to be key. We need to get something out of both games, and even two points should be enough to keep us in the automatic qualification places. Remember that we have Venezuela and Bolivia in the last two games and four points out of that (hopefully all six) is a realistic hope… but I don’t want it to come down to our *having* to get a result there to avoid the dreaded repechaje. For once I want an uncomplicated qualification!

    In the next round Chile face Argentina away and Ecuador face Paraguay… both tricky games and a potential banana peel. Ecuador have already completed all four games against basement dwellers Venezuela and Bolivia and their remaining games are harder than ours – they still have to visit Brazil, and Chile’s games against Brazil and Argentina are both away. Also, we have finished our matches against Chile, Ecuador and Colombia and these three will still play games against each other, where at least one will drop points. So I think that we are still in a good position to qualify, provided we can get something from the next two games.

    Ideally, and in a dream world, our qualification should be wrapped up by the Paraguay match and then we could face Bolivia and Venezuela with a younger team! Wouldn’t that be something? But wait… the young guns won’t get a chance.

    Current score: 4
    • Alessandro Viña Alessandro_Vina says:

      Qualification could be wrapped up by now and we would still field the same team ahaha

      Current score: 3
    • Farerets Farerets says:

      Good article, Alessandro – keep it up! :-)

      I generally also agree with the analysis of Taurus (apart from Chile got 6 points in November, not 7 – an awarded victory against Bolivia instead of the draw, a draw in Colombia and a victory over Uruguay, which definitely could have been avoided but the mix of factors, already mentioned here by others).

      In the present situation, getting a draw in Colombia and winning against Ecuador could prove to be crucial points for La Celeste. I have a feeling that repechaje fight will now be between these two, as Argentina and Chile are going to make it to Russia, one way or another. Ecuador has a very difficult schedule of games, I predict that they will fall down of qualifying spots.

      The failure in Santiago hurts badly, however I would not dramatize the things before Brazil game. Martín Silva is a decent goalkeeper, after all and while Suárez´ abcence always influences the strength of the team, I believe it is possible to get at least a point against Brazil, which is all but qualified already.

      The are all reasons for being in an optimistic mood for the next months!

      Current score: 2
  8. Alessandro Viña Alessandro_Vina says:

    Possible podcast in the future? I’ve been in constant communication with Nico through Facebook Messenger and he’s suggesting the possibility of some more podcasts another one in Spanish and one this time in English featuring myself Yoru, Shaun, Nico and Ivan? Some possibilities going forward…

    Current score: 2
    • KangaCeleste KangaCeleste says:

      Open mic night podcast.

      I have some very right wing views I’d like to share. :)

      Current score: 1
    • NicoGF NicoGF says:

      My spoken English is poor but count me in :) I might use it to get better.

      Current score: 1
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      Podcast featuring me? This is news to me. 😉

      Current score: 2
    • NicoGF NicoGF says:

      It was a question Y :) btw u guys want to rewatch the chile game to figure out how to use the goalkeeper to start possession from goal kick? http://youtu.be/16LpL8GAyQg

      Ale will post my article in english with proofreading hopefully 😉

      Make sure you guys follow http://www.twitter.com/lacelesteblog tag us from there as @lacelesteblog only Y is in charge of that, king ###hole as he used to call himself in an article, google for it “lacelesteblog king ###hole is back”.

      Current score: 0
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @Nico – I love the Twitter Account I can Block and Un-follow many assholes – Lots of Tabarez’ alcahuetes and lots of Tabarez’ Haters…. I love it.

      Current score: 0
    • NicoGF NicoGF says:

      That is possible in any social media Y, go ahead, and in case you got instagram dont forget to follow sommerray, trust me.

      Current score: 0
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @Nico – thank you for the condescending lecture.

      Current score: 1
    • Farerets Farerets says:

      Thank you for the invitation, I would rather avoid being a part of podcast, for two reasons:

      1. English is only my 4th language, I would not feel comfortable enough while discussing with native speakers;

      2. My relations with AUF.

      Current score: 0
    • Yorugua Yorugua says:

      @Farerets… only your 4th language! I can barely speak English… You sir are a legend!

      Current score: 3
 

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