Austria 1-1 Uruguay
5 March 2014
Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt
Scorers: Janko (Austria); Peirera (Uruguay)

Austria threatened to snatch the UFWC title from unofficial champions Uruguay in this international friendly in Klagenfurt. The home side led for more than 50 minutes thanks to a goal from Marc Janko of Trabzonspor. But a scrappy equaliser saved Uruguay, with a draw on the night sufficient for them to retain the title, and continue the UFWC’s journey towards the World Cup Finals in Brazil.

Marcel Koller’s Austria lined up with Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City and Martin Harnik of Stuttgart in advanced roles alongside Janko. Uruguay, meanwhile, replaced the injured Edinson Cavani with Christian Stuani, alongside Diego Forlan – Uruguay’s most-capped player – and Luis Suarez – Uruguay’s all-time top scorer.

Janko’s goal came in the 14th minute, following good play from his strike partners, and an error from Uruguay’s Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin.

Uruguay looked for a quick equaliser, and almost got one through Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, who crashed a 30-yard free-kick off the Austrian crossbar.

Both sides lost central defenders to injury in the first half. First Garics was replaced by Klein, and then West Brom’s Diego Lugano was replaced by Jose Maria Gimenez. And Giminez soon came close to scoring, flicking a Suarez header just wide of the post.

Oscar Tabarez made two further changes at half-time, taking the opportunity to experiment ahead of the World Cup. Gaston Ramirez of Southampton and Walter Gargano of Parma replaced Forlan and Diego Perez.

Uruguay’s 66th-minute equaliser was very messy. After a couple of headers in the Austria box, the ball fell at the feet of Christian Stuani who, facing away from goal, backheeled the ball, via a couple of deflections, past keeper Robert Almer. Stuani claimed the goal, although it looked like substitute Alvaro Pereira of Brazil’s Sao Paulo club had the final touch, poking the ball over the line.

Uruguay had slightly more of the play as the second half continued. A raft of further substitutions disrupted the game, and there were few goal-scoring chances. Suarez flashed another decent free kick just wide, but that was the nearest either side came to adding to the scoreline. The game finished 1-1.

So Uruguay retain the UFWC title and remain Unofficial Football World Champions. Uruguay’s next match, and therefore the next UFWC title match, is on 30 May against Northern Ireland. “Norn Iron” have won five title matches in the past, but haven’t competed in the UFWC since 1997.

We’ll have a full preview here ahead of the match, plus all the other latest UFWC news. You can keep up to date by following us on on Twitter or Facebook.

Also, if you haven’t already got your copy, the brand new 2014 edition of the official UFWC book, Unofficial Football World Champions, is out now, in paperback and on Kindle and iPad.

New UFWC book

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.

3 thoughts on “Austria 1-1 Uruguay

  1. Kosmonautovic

    Minor correction, Garics is a full- back, not a central defender.

    Too bad Austria couldn’t carry a great first half over to the second one yet again, already cost us a play-off spot for Brazil, and now the unofficial title.

  2. Rune

    I have absolutely nothing against Austria, in fact I’d like the title to tour around Europe for a while (the Swedish recent reign was too short), but I love that Uruguay kept the title. Why? Because Austria’s next matches are against Iceland and Czech Republic, two teams who are not playing in the World Cup. And UFWC in WC = rock n roll.

  3. Hemorrhoid

    So let me get this straight…Uruguay’s world cup group consists of Italy, Costa Rica, and England… The preparatory friendlies are against Austria, Northern Ireland and Slovenia. How do friendlies against opponents who have not even qualified for the World Cup make Uruguay a formidable opponent? She should be playing against teams Spain or France or Mexico… Who arranges these matches?? This is a disgrace…

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