Uruguay beat Argentina but still consigned to play-offs

Victory not enough for automatic World Cup qualification with Jordan the next hurdle for South Americans.

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 10:59am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 12:13pm

Chile beat Ecuador 2-1 in their closing South American qualifier in Santiago on Tuesday as both went through automatically to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

The result consigned Uruguay, despite beating group winners Argentina 3-2 in Montevideo, to a play-off against Jordan next month for one more berth in the finals.

Striker Alexis Sanchez and midfielder Gary Medel scored in the first half for Chile with Felipe Caicedo pulling one back for the Ecuadoreans.

Uruguay, who also hit the woodwork twice in a fast-paced Rio de La Plata clasico, caught Ecuador on 25 points but remained in fifth place on goal difference.

Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador occupied the top four automatic qualifying places in the nine-nation group with Uruguay going into the intercontinental play-off next month.

They will face Asian qualifiers Jordan over two legs in their fourth consecutive play-off, having taken that route to the 2002 and 2010 finals and being eliminated by Australia at the same stage in the qualifiers for the 2006 finals.

Midfielder Cristian Rodriguez, striker Luis Suarez with a penalty and Edinson Cavani scored for Uruguay with Maxi Rodriguez, Argentina captain in the absence of the injured Lionel Messi replying twice.

Meanwhile, Honduras clinched the last of the automatic qualifying spot in North and Central America and the Caribbean (Concacaf), while Mexico stayed in contention by claiming the play-off spot after Panama suffered a heartbreaking loss to the United States.

Needing only a point to qualify, Honduras made sure of their place by drawing 2-2 with Jamaica in Kingston to join the US and Costa Rica as the three automatic qualifiers from the Concacaf region.

Mexico were beaten 2-1 in Costa Rica but still grabbed the play-off spot after Panama were beaten 3-2 by the US when they conceded two goals in stoppage time.

Mexico now face Oceania winners New Zealand in a two-leg play-off in November to continue their long streak of World Cup appearances, while Honduras will make their third appearance at the game’s showpiece event.