Uruguay 3-2 Argentina
15 October 2013
World Cup Qualifier
Estadio Centenario, Montevideo
Scorers: Cristian Rodriguez, Suarez, Cavani (Uru); Maxi Rodríguez (2) (Arg)

Uruguay are the new Unofficial Football World Champions after beating Argentina 3-2 in this exciting World Cup qualifier. It was a 17th UFWC title match win for the new champions, and their first since 2006. The margin of victory wasn’t enough to secure an automatic WC qualification place for Uruguay, and they will now need to win a two-legged play-off in order to join Argentina in Brazil next summer.

Uruguay lined up with Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani up front. Argentina, without the injured Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain (plus Javier Mascherano and Fabricio Coloccini), went with Rodrigo Palacio and Erik Lamela.

Uruguay took an early lead in the 6th minute, when a Luis Suarez free kick ricocheted through several legs before arriving at the feet of Cristian Rodriguez, who fired a shot across Argentina keeper Sergio Romero and into the net.

Argentina were never going to roll over, and 12 minutes later they were level. Rodrigo Palacio’s cross was chested down by Augusto Fernandez, allowing Maxi Rodriguez to sweep the ball home.

On 34 minutes, though, Uruguay were back in front. Suarez tumbled in the penalty area under what looked like very minimal contact, and Brazilian referee Marcelo Henrique awarded a penalty. Suarez recovered sufficiently to take the kick himself, firing it under the diving Romero.

Ten minutes later, though, Argentina drew level again. Maxi Rodriguez found space in the Uruguay penalty area, cut inside, and struck a left-foot shot past keeper Fernando Muslera to claim his second goal of the night. The half-time score was 2-2.

Uruguay started the second half very strongly, and Edinson Cavani, who had already missed two good chances, gave his side a 3-2 lead on 49 minutes, combining with Suarez before emphatically smashing the ball into the Argentine net.

Despite Ecuador losing 2-1 in Chile, Uruguay needed a further four-goal swing to finish above Ecuador on goal difference and claim an automatic World Cup qualifying place. But there were no further goals in Montevideo, and Uruguay had to settle for a 3-2 win and play-off place – plus the consolation of the UFWC title.

Uruguay’s previous reign as unofficial champions occurred in 2006. Today’s victory over Argentina was their 17th title match win, and moves them into 11th place in the all-time UFWC rankings.

Next up for the new champions is a two-legged inter-confederation World Cup play-off against Jordan. The two legs will be played on 13 and 20 November in Amman and Montevideo respectively. A reminder that, under UFWC rules, the two legs will count as two separate UFWC title matches. So there’s no guarantee that either Uruguay or Jordan will take the UFWC title into the World Cup Finals. But we certainly have some very exciting UFWC title matches coming up between now and summer 2014.

New to the UFWC? Read all about it here.

About Paul Brown

Paul is a freelance journalist and author. He created the UFWC in 2003, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book. He can be found on Twitter @paulbrownUK.

One thought on “Uruguay 3-2 Argentina

  1. Gregory Koch

    Question: What happens if the second leg goes to a penalty shootout due to the need to break aggregate goals, but is not tied? For instance, if Uruguay wins the first leg 2-1, Jordan wins the second leg 2-1, but then Uruguay wins the penalty shootout to determine who wins on aggregate? Does Uruguay retain the UFWC because they won the shootout, or does Jordan win it because they won the game? I know shootouts count when the game was tied, but in this case the game might not be tied before the shootout.

    Similarly, what if it goes into extra time tied on aggregate but not in the game, and this changes the result? For instance, Uruguay wins the first leg 2-1 retaining the title, Jordan leads 2-1 after 90 minutes, but Uruguay manages to tie or win it in extra time?

  2. Paul Brown Post author

    Hi, both matches would be individual title matches, so if Uruguay won 2-1 they would retain UFWC title, then if Jordan won 2-1 they would take the title. A penalty shootout or extra time would be irrelevant in this case, as it would not be deciding the outcome of the individual match.

  3. Paul Brown Post author

    @Tim Errington No, the penalty shootout would still be irrelevant to the UFWC, as it would be deciding the result of the two-legged play-off rather than the individual match, which ended as a draw.

  4. January First-of-May

    Presumably, if Uruguay wins 2-0 and then Jordan wins 2-1, Jordan would be UFWC but won’t continue to the World Cup. Would actually be a bit funny.
    And of course vice versa exchanging “Jordan” and “Uruguay”. But IMHO Jordan is a funnier UFWC candidate than Uruguay.

  5. Gregory Koch

    Keep in mind both Jordan and Uruguay probably play friendlies between November and the start of the finals, and could lose the title then, to a qualifier or non-qualifier. Jordan will also play three AFC continental championship qualifiers. However, none of the teams in their group will qualify for the World Cup.

    So the outcome of the second game doesn’t necessarily mean that it will or won’t go to the World Cup.

  6. Derek McHugh

    A couple of questions, based on https://www.ufwc.co.uk/about/ufwc-frequently-asked-questions/#16 :

    Each individual match in a two-legged tie counts individually, according to that page.
    1) If Team A and Team B are playing over two legs and the first leg is 1-1, and then the second leg is 1-1 after 90 minutes and then finishes 2-1 to Team A after extra time, does Team A win the UFWC?
    2) If Team A is the defending unofficial world champion, and Team A wins the first leg 1-0, then Team B wins the second leg 1-0, then Team A scores the only goal in extra time to make the second leg finish 1-1, does Team A retain the UFWC because the second leg finished 1-1, or does the score only after 90 minutes count and therefore Team B claim the UFWC because it finished 1-0 after 90 minutes?
    3) If a team wins the second leg (e.g. 2-0) and the tie goes to extra time, but then concedes a load of goals in extra time (e.g. 2-4), does the 90 score count or does the scores after extra time count?


  7. Derek McHugh

    And one final question… Has the UFWC ever been played “over two legs” before (as opposed to two groups games in a row between the same teams, or two friendlies, etc)? Thanks.

  8. Paul Brown Post author

    @Derek McHugh Hi Derek, as per previous answers, extra time and/or penalties would be irrelevant as they are deciding the aggregate outcome, not the outcome of either individual matches.

    It has happened before – a 1957 Roca Cup tie between Brazil and Argentina. Argentina won first leg, Brazil won second, extra time was played. Also the 1979 Copa America Final between Paraguay and Chile was effectively played over three legs! See the UFWC book for more info.

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