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Uruguay, Ecuador to Fight for Last Automatic South American Berth

  • Reuters, Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:51 PM

Uruguay will visit Ecuador in Quito next month in what looks to be a clash for the fourth automatic berth in South American World Cup qualifying after the Celeste beat Colombia 2-0 in Montevideo on Tuesday. The win was Uruguay’s record third in a row in qualifying, thanks to late goals from Edinson Cavani and Cristian Stuani. In the second half, coach Oscar Tabarez made two crucial substitutions, bringing on Stuani and midfielder Gaston Ramirez, who combined for the second goal.

"We were looking to give the team the means to better control Colombia and try to create problems for them," Tabarez said in the post-match news conference. "If Colombia had gone ahead, then it would have been tough because of their good ball control. I think the [first] goal practically ended their hopes."

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman, whose team needs just one point from its final two games to secure automatic qualification, said he thought Uruguay would make it through to Brazil and would again be a strong challenger. "Uruguay will again have the level they had in South Africa and in the [2011] Copa America," Pekerman said. "They have that category of great players but also a spirit and fortitude they always put to the test."

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