Uruguay 3-0 Venezuela
6 October 2016
Estadio Centenario, Montevideo
World Cup Qualifier
Scorers: Lodeiro, Cavani (2)

Uruguay overcame a tricky start to record an ultimately comfortable win over Venezuela in this World Cup qualifier in Montevideo. A goal from Nicolas Lodeiro and two from Edinson Cavani, plus another man of the match performance from Luis Suarez, allowed Uruguay to remain top of the CONMEBOL qualifying group and retain the UFWC title. The win moves Uruguay into the UFWC’s all-time top ten rankings.

The result could have been very different if Venezuela had managed to convert a series of very good chances. Adalberto Penaranda and Salomon Rondon caused all kinds of problems for the Uruguay defence in the opening 25 minutes, with 19-year-old Watford/Udinese forward Penaranda looking particularly lively. Unfortunately, neither Penaranda nor Rondon had brought their finishing boots.

Perhaps inevitably, Uruguay then went up the other end and scored, with Lodeiro of Seattle Sounders diving to head home Suarez’s cross. The score remained 1-0 at half-time, but Venezuela pressed the self destruct button straight from kick-off in the second half. A looping ball was allowed to bounce into the penalty area, and Cavani shrugged off a weak challenge and blasted the ball past keeper Dani Hernandez.

Any chance of a comeback was obliterated when Venezuela’s Oswaldo Vizcarrondo was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Suarez. And the game was sewn up in the 79th minutes, when Cavani ran on to a clever backheel flick from Suarez to score from eight yards.

This was Uruguay’s 25th UFWC title win, and was particularly significant as it moves them up into the top ten all-time UFWC rankings, level on wins with France. Argentina and Brazil are the only two non-European nations ahead of Uruguay in the UFWC rankings.

UFWC all-time rankings

Rank TeamPlayedWonLast Held
1Scotland1488628-Mar-2007
2England1447320-Jun-2000
3Argentina10362CURRENT
4Netherlands825009-Jul-2014
5Russia634123-Feb-2000
6Brazil713817-Jun-2015
7Germany672803-Sep-2014
7Sweden452806-Feb-2013
9Italy562722-Aug-2007
10Uruguay652615-Nov-2016
11France522528-Mar-2001
See full rankings table

The next UFWC title match is played on Tuesday, 11 October, which is Matchday 10 for the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying campaign. Uruguay travel to Colombia, who have recent form in the UFWC. They successfully took the unofficial title from Brazil during the 2015 Copa America, then held off Peru, before losing on penalties to Argentina. Colombia have subsequently played two further UFWC title matches, drawing and losing to then-champions Chile. Overall, Colombia have won nine title matches, and are ranked 22nd in the UFWC rankings.

The Colombia vs Uruguay match kicks off at 15:30 in Barranquilla, which is 21:30 in the UK. It will be streamed live and free at Bet365. (You must have a funded sports account or have placed a bet within the last 24 hours in order to view the live stream. Get more info here.)

We’ll have a report here after the match. In the meantime, if you’re new to the Unofficial Football World Championships you can find out all about the UFWC here. And you can keep up to date with all things UFWC by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

(Note: For the avoidance of confusion, this match was played on the evening of 6 October in Montevideo, which was the morning of 7 October in the UK.)