World Cup Rivalries: Uruguay

With just a day until the World Cup Draw, we complete our look at our World Cup Rivalries, finishing with Uruguay

With just a day until the World Cup Draw, we complete our look at our World Cup Rivalries, finishing with Uruguay.

November 16, 2005. The night Australian football changed irreversibly and for better.

John Aloisi-s penalty and Mark Schwarzer-s saves are the pivotal moments but it was so much more than that.

It made up for the heart break of blowing a 1-0 lead against the Uruguayans four years earlier. And in its momentous, glorious climax, Aloisi-s penalty wiped away the previous 32 years of international anonymity.

Australian football was back and the Socceroos were on the world stage once again.

The first leg in Montevideo saw the Socceroos go down 1-0 to a Dario Rodriguez goal. It is a detail oft-forgotten, but Guus Hiddink-s side returned home to chase the deficit.

Out went Harry Kewell and Archie Thompson, in came Mark Bresciano and Tim Cahill for the second leg.

The moment that changed the tie though, was Hiddink-s ruthless 31st minute substitution of Tony Popovic, who was replaced by Kewell.

Bresciano scored the equaliser just four minutes later and the match went to extra time and penalties. The rest is etched into Australian sporting folklore.

This time around, Uruguay was again involved in a play-off.

Uruguay finished fifth in the CONMEBOL qualifiers, behind Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador. They actually beat the group winners, Argentina, on Matchday 18 to draw themselves level on points with Ecuador, but inferior goal difference plunged them in to a play-off.

With such names as Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan, Uruguay were heavy favourites against Jordan, who had qualified from the AFC.

And so it proved: the play-off was well and truly over after the first leg in Amman, after Uruguay-s thumping 5-0 win.

Over 60,000 fans still turned up at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo and after the second leg was drawn 0-0, the party began.

With Uruguay one of the eight seeded teams at Brazil 2014, there is a chance that the Socceroos will get to renew their rivalry on the biggest stage of all.

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