Chile 3-1 Uruguay
15 November 2016
Estadio Nacional, Santiago
World Cup Qualifier
Scorers: Vargas, Sanchez (2) (Chile), Cavani (Uruguay)
Chile are the new unofficial football world champions, and regain the UFWC title after a two-month gap, following this 3-1 World Cup qualifier win over Uruguay. Alexis Sanchez, returning from injury, scored two second half goals for Chile.
Edinson Cavani put Uruguay ahead in the 17th minute, after Luis Suarez capitalised on slack defending. However, Eduardo Vargas headed an equaliser for Chile just before half-time.
Sanchez, playing with his hamstring strapped up (and against the wishes of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger), put Chile ahead with a shot from the edge of the area after 60 minutes. And Sanchez made it 3-1 in the 76th minute.
Uruguay’s attempts to save the game came to nothing, with Suarez seeing his 89th minute penalty saved by Claudio Bravo.
This was Chile’s 19th UFWC title match win. They are currently 12th in the all-time UFWC rankings. The World Cup qualification result keeps Chile one point ahead of Argentina in fourth place in the CONMEBOL table, where the top four automatically qualify. The next WCQ match will be huge, as Chile travel to Argentina on 23 March 2017.
Before that, Chile are scheduled to play in the four-team China Cup in January, alongside China, Croatia and Iceland. FIFA do not currently list the China Cup as a FIFA tournament, although this may change once the fixtures are announced.
If the China Cup matches are considered FIFA A matches (generally if sides play their first teams) then they will be eligible to be UFWC title matches. Therefore Chile may need to put up a fight to defend the UFWC title in China.
So UFWC action takes a break until January or March, but keep an eye on the website as we’ll be back very soon with our annual UFWC review of a very busy year. 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.
UPDATE: FIFA have now listed the China Cup fixtures, implying that they will be FIFA A matches (although there is still some doubt that the sides will play their first teams). As it stands, the next UFWC title match will be Chile v Croatia at the Guangxi Sports Center in Nanning on 11 January 2017.