Saturday, June 02, 2012

Uruguay's Venezuela complex?

Uruguay is one of the best footballing nations at the moment: semifinalist of the 2010 World Cup, winner of the 2011 Copa America, and currently ranked number 3 in the FIFA World rankings (behind Spain and Germany), they were looking to cement their lead in the South American World Cup qualifying group against Venezuela in Montevideo today.
Venezuela has been on the rise lately, and were number 2 in the qualifying group after some excellent initial results where they have, among others, defeated Argentina. And in fact, in spite of Uruguay's power, they have in fact had really bad results against Venezuela: not since 2001 has Uruguay defeated Venezuela, and in 2004, Venezuela gave one of the biggest humiliations Uruguay has ever had by defeating them 0-3 in Montevideo in another World Cup qualifier.
Still, I think most people expected Uruguay to win, and in the first half they indeed dominated and were leading 1-0 on a goal by the veteran Diego Forlan.
Although I live in Venezuela, I am not a big fan of the team, but like they played today, one must bow in respect: highly organized, disciplined and with a patience that seems to be their main characteristic, they slowly fight themselves into the match as Uruguay seemed to get more tired and comfortable. Some warnings had been given to the Uruguayan defense by some high balls into the Malaga striker Solomon Rondon, and it was indeed one such ball, in a perfectly timed counter-attack five minutes before the end, that Solomon Rondon scored the equalizer on a perfect header to the disappointment of the home fans.
This is a very important result for Venezuela, and although still early, it is looking more an more probable that they may qualify for their first World Cup ever (being the only South American side never to have gone to a World Cup).
I still think Uruguay will qualify, but this great footballing nation seems to have a problem with Venezuela.

1 comment:

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