Barring one of the most miraculous comebacks in the history of international football, only 90 minutes separate La Celeste from reaching the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Following their 5-0 win against Jordan in Amman, Oscar Tabarez’s men now look to seal passage to next summer’s showpiece as the sixth – and final – South American side to book a place at football’s greatest tournament.
A few months ago, with Uruguay out of the qualification spots for Brazil 2014 in the South American qualifiers and both players and coaching staff questioned in their home country, even a place in the AFC/CONMEBOL play-off had looked unlikely.
But La Celeste beat Venezuela, won in Peru and stood strong when it really mattered. Now, only an unprecedented home defeat by six goals or more would see them miss out on the World Cup.
Jordan, meanwhile, were left bruised by the one-sided nature of the first leg, and will look to play for some pride in the second part of this tie which, whatever happens, has made history for football in the Asian country.
11 - The number of times Uruguay have participated in the FIFA World Cup. La Celeste won the first on home soil in 1930 and triumphed again at Brazil 1950, a victory famously crowned by El Maracanazo. They also came fourth at Switzerland 1954, Mexico 1970 and South Africa 2010.
Player to watch
Nicolas Lodeiro (Uruguay)
Fans might often focus their attention on Uruguay's attacking stars such as Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, but behind them, quietly getting on with his job, is Nicolas Lodeiro.
Botafogo’s attacking midfielder was excellent in Jordan, where he contributed both a goal and an assist, and he will look to pull the strings going forward for Uruguay once more in this match to ensure qualification and set a benchmark for the World Cup next summer.
What they said
"The result in this return match may not be too important in terms of going through, but we should not forget that in seven hours we sold 45,000 tickets and the following day, the rest all went too. Those people, the fans, are showing their support and we have to go out and play a serious match. Being at the World Cup is so important to the people of Uruguay and we want to make it a big party for our fans,"
Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay coach.
"We are hugely disappointed. We told everyone that at home it would be difficult, but we expected a lot more. We now come here looking for a good result, for our people more than anything – we want to change our image."
Thaer Bawab, Jordan midfielder.