October 14, 2009



0 - 1



22:00 +00:00, October 14, 2009

Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay

Referee: Amarilla, Carlos (PAR)

  • 93'

    FULL TIME Argentina are in the World Cup finals! Bolatti's goal is enough for Diego Maradona's side. Were you ever concerned they would miss their first finals since 1970? Meanwhile, Uruguay will enter the play-off against either Honduras or Costa Rica.

  • 92'

    An excellent tackle from Heinze prevents Scotti from getting a shot away in the box. Meanwhile, Ecuador have been beaten by Chile so Uruguay will get the play-off place.

  • 92'

    Romero comes to claim a corner and just stays inside his box as his momentum carries him forward.

  • 90'

    A late chance for Uruguay but Romero holds onto the shot from Scotti and we are heading into injury time.

  • 89'

    Argentina enjoy a run of 30 uninterrupted passes before Demichelis lets the ball run out of play for no reason. Bizarre.

  • 88'

    Argentina are looking to retain possession by spraying the ball around the park. Uruguay aren't getting a sniff at the moment.

  • 87'

    Carlos Tevez comes on for the final few minutes as Argentina look to hold onto a rare away win, and one that will put them into the World Cup finals.

  • 86'

    Uruguay must now score twice to take the automatic qualification spot, so they look destined for the play-offs as Ecuador are losing.

  • 85'

    GOAL! The substitute Bolatti, winning his third cap, puts Argentina in the World Cup finals! Following Caceres' foul on Gutierrez, Messi fed the ball square to Veron and when his shot pinballed in the box, Bolatti took possession and produced a composed finish.

  • 84'

    Now Caceres is shown a second yellow card though, following a silly, silly moment in which he trips Gutierrez using his arms, rugby stye. Uruguay are down to ten men.

  • 83'

    Martin Caceres and Jonas Gutierrez are involved in a little spat on the floor but this game appears to have fizzled out somewhat.

  • 82'

    This has been far from impressive from Argentina but if they secure the point they need then no-one will be complaining. This will end a run of four consecutive away defeats as things stand.

  • 81'

    Mario Bolatti replaces Gonzalo Higuain for Argentina and Diego Maradona is retreating further into his shell. Don't forget though, Martin 'the miracle' Palermo is still on the bench. Can he score a late winner for the second game in succession?

  • 79'

    Andres Scotti is the latest Uruguay player to be booked as he goes in high, and with his studs showing, on Javier Mascherano. Ouch.

  • 78'

    Well that is the end of the talented Luis Suarez who has been replaced by Sebastian Abreu. That is the last throw of the dice for Tabarez.

  • 77'

    Martin Caceres is shown a yellow card for clattering into Otamendi and catching the defender on the boot as he cleared. That was a nasty one.

  • 77'

    Maradona makes a change as Di Maria is removed and Fabian Monzon comes on in his place. Monzon is a left back so Argentina have tweaked their side to adopt a more defensive outlook. Not exactly what this game needs.

  • 75'

    75 minutes in and we have had two, TWO, shots on target. What a disappointment, it really has been an anticlimax of the highest order, not least because Ecuador are losing as well.

  • 73'

    Forlan belts in a fierce free-kick from 30 yards and Lugano gets in front of Romero to connect with a header, but he only succeeds in diverting the ball wide. He should have done much better, Argentina were very fortunate.

  • 69'

    Oscar Tabarez is readying another substitute and it looks to be Cristian Rodriguez as 'El Maestro' looks for the goal that will hand Uruguay the automatic spot. A win for either side sends them to South Africa while a draw is enough for Argentina. The team who loses will take the play-off spot as Ecuador are losing.

  • 69'

    Excellent stuff from Messi as he attempts to play in Di Maria but the Benfica man is ruled offside and the danger passes. There have been frustratingly few chances in this game so far, not what we expected at kick-off.

  • 68'

    A corner for Uruguay and Diego Forlan curls it in but Argentina manage to clear their lines.

  • 64'

    Suarez capitalises on a slip from Rolando Schiavi but fires his shot straight at Romero. Uruguay should have taken advantage of that mistake.

  • 62'

    It is chaos in the Argentina defence as Luis Suarez wreaks havoc but the Ajax forward is finally penalised for a foul on Schiavi.

  • 61'

    Lionel Messi embarks on a surging run and feeds the ball through to Higuain, but Muslera is off his line quickly to put the Real Madrid star off.

  • 60'

    Argentina will be pleased with how tonight is progressing so far - quite a contrast with their previous record under Maradona which reads three wins and four defeats in qualifying.

  • 59'

    We have a change for Uruguay with the highly-rated Edison Cavani replacing Jorge Rodriguez.

  • 58'

    Diego Forlan takes a dangerous inswinging corner but Diego Lugano is penalised for a foul when attacking the ball.

  • 57'

    Veron whips in a free-kick from a central position and Demichelis sneaks in behind the Uruguay defence, but his outstretched leg does not make contact with the ball.

  • 55'

    Messi jinks past one challenge and threatens to go on the kind of brilliant run we have seen so many times at Barca. Instead he lays the ball wide and Argentina are enjoying a sizeable chunk of possession.

  • 53'

    Higuain cushions the ball well inside the box and lays it off to Messi, but the Barcelona man delays his shot, allowing Uruguay to recover. He really has been far below his best today.

  • 51'

    Goal to Chile! That is good news for both Argentina and Uruguay who have a bit of a cushion over Ecuador now. We can be fairly certain that Argentina will qualify with a draw now. While a defeat for Uruguay would not be fatal if the score stays the same in Santiago.

  • 50'

    Diego Forlan fires one in from 20 yards and Romero lets it run past. Either the Argentina goalkeeper's judgement is impeccable or he is very lucky, as the ball trickles inches wide.

  • 48'

    Diego Maradona has just been spotted on the touchline wearing what can only b described as a bizarre red bib. Like he is just about to sit down to a big feast. His last supper perhaps?

  • 48'

    Danger for Argentina as a free-kick from the right is headed on, but Uruguay cannot get a decisive touch and Romero clasps the ball.

  • 47'

    Veron releases Messi with a neat through-ball but the forward is quickly surrounded and dispossessed by an alert Uruguay defence.

  • 46'

    KICK OFF Argentina get the second half underway.

  • 45'

    Right, the teams are coming back out at the Cenetario Stadium in Montevideo so we are seconds away from kick-off...

  • 45'

    HALF TIME Right that is it for the first half. As things stand, with Ecuador drawing, Argentina will take the final qualification spot with Uruguay settling for a play-off. Back in 15 mins!

  • 45'

    With seconds to go in the first half, Diego Forland drives a shot wide from 20 yards.

  • 45'

    Javier Mascherano embarks on an unusually enterprising run but gets a bit excited and his pass over the top lands nowhere near a team-mate.

  • 44'

    Di Maria is sent tumbling again and writhes around in pain after a poor challenge from Maxi Pereira but the Uruguay defender somehow escapes any punishment. The referee didn't even give a foul but that had to be a second yellow card for Pereira. A controversial moment.

  • 42'

    After a fast and furious start, this has become somewhat tepid although with Argentina, drama is surely only around the corner. 0-0 at half-time would probably suit Maradona though, nice and uneventful.

  • 41'

    The tricky Luis Suarez tries to wriggle his way into the box once more but sees the ball run away from him.

  • 40'

    Mascherano attempts an ambitious crossfield pass to release Messi but gets too much behind the ball and Uruguay win possession.

  • 38'

    A third booking of the game for Uruguay as Diego Perez clatters into Angel Di Maria.

  • 38'

    Di Maria takes aim from 25 yards but his effort is straight at Muslera who claims the ball with ease.

  • 37'

    Gargano dishes out a bit of treatment to Lionel Messi as he almost catches the Barcelona forward in the most sensitive of areas. Little Lionel looks okay to continue though.

  • 36'

    Argentina are untroubled again as Diego Perez chips a poor pass into the box. After a shaky opening period they have settled down in defence, but Maradona is still failing to get his side to show any consistent fluidity.

  • 33'

    Lovely interplay between Veron and Di Maria but when the former flicks the ball to Higuain on the edge of the box, the Real Madrid man is dispossessed.

  • 32'

    Now Messi chips a free-kick into the box as the pressure builds on Uruguay but Demichelis is penalised for a foul.

  • 31'

    Muslera comes and punches from Veron's set-piece and when Messi collects the ball, he beats one man but fails to evade a second.

  • 30'

    Di Maria does well when carrying the ball 20 yards and winning a free-kick from Maxi Pereira. Veron to take it...

  • 29'

    Luis Suarez takes possession of the ball on the right wing and looks to play in Forlan with a lofted pass, but cannot find the Atletico Madrid striker.

  • 28'

    Veron's free-kick into the box is a deep one but Martin Demichelis cannot connect with a header. Replays show that Gabriel Heinze was possibly dragged down and could have won a penalty.

  • 26'

    Argentina are beginning to dominate possession when knocking the ball around but have created little in the final third. Of course they only need a draw, barring a heavy win for Ecuador, but playing for a point would surely be suicidal.

  • 24'

    Diego Forlan produces a lovely backheel for Diego Perez but Javier Mascherano is on hand to stick his boot in and win the ball on the edge of the box. That is the Liverpool man at his best.

  • 23'

    Alvaro Pereira takes aim from the edge of the box but his cross-cum-shot flies a metre or two wide of Romero's goal.

  • 22'

    Luis Suarez of Ajax, who is one classy performer, shows expert control to take the ball down but he cannot retain possession when jinking into the box and the danger passes.

  • 21'

    At least Argentina seem to have stemmed the flow of chances for the hosts and it is a more even contest for that. Muslera has not been tested in the Uruguay goal though.

  • 21'

    It was all getting very excitable and the game will probably benefit from a quick cooling down period that sees a succession of niggly fouls.

  • 18'

    Now Martin Demichelis and Luis Suarez are involved in a coming together with the Argentina defender unhappy at a challenge from the forward. He then throws an arm out at his opponent. This is decidedly spiky.

  • 17'

    Argentina begin to string a few passes together and Higuain attempts to break into the box, but his progress is halted.

  • 16'

    The third booking of the night goes to Nicolas Otamendi for a shirt pull. There is no chance both sides will finish this game with a full complement of players.

  • 15'

    Veron almost lets in Uruguay with a sloppy error and then skews his attempted clearance. That just about sums up Argentina under Maradona.

  • 14'

    Juan Sebastian Veron whips in the free-kick and Uruguay keeper Nestor Muslera produces an acrobatic, and completely needless punch to clear.

  • 13'

    And we have our second yellow card of the night. Maxi Pereira exacts his revenge on Heinze by crudely chopping down the defender.

  • 12'

    I don't think Lionel Messi has even touched the ball yet. He has been in disappointing form for his country and needs to take the game by the scruff of the neck tonight.

  • 10'

    From the resulting free-kick Andres Scotti flicks a header at goal but Romero sees it wide.

  • 9'

    Gabriel Heinze is shown a yellow card after only nine minutes as he throws himself into a challenge on Maxi Pereira. He made some contact with the ball but it was a dangerous tackle.

  • 8'

    Argentina win a free-kick and it is Juan Sebastian Veron who swings the ball into the box, only to see Uruguay's Maxi Pereira fouled.

  • 6'

    Angel Di Maria has a little kick out at his marker but the Benfica midfielder goes unpunished. If this finishes as ten v ten I will be very, very surprised.

  • 5'

    Jorge Rodriguez breaks into acres of space for Uruguay but Sergio Romero races off his line to thump his attempted clearance off his opponent and away to safety. That was fortunate and already Argentina look shaky.

  • 3'

    The electric Luis Suarez embarks on a sizzling run for Uruguay and gets to the touchline after darting into the box, but his cut-back cannot find a team-mate. Worrying times for the visitors.

  • 3'

    Uruguay are pressing their opponents with no remorse, flying into tackles. If an Argentina side can be rattled, it is certainly this one.

  • 2'

    Uruguay take the early initiative and 36-year-old defender Rolando Schiavi, recently called up for the first time by El Diego, is forced to make an important intervention.

  • 1'

    KICK OFF Uruguay get us underway...


    Right, the teams have made their way to their respective ends in front of an expectant crowd in Montevideo...


    The two teams are shaking hands ahead of this hotly-anticipated encounter. It could get fiesty. We are minutes away from kick-off so hold onto your hats!


    The stats do not make favourable reading for Diego either. Uruguay have only lost at home to Brazil in qualifying while Argentina have lost all three games on their travels under their 'manager'.


    Typically, Maradona has shifted things around considerably with Emiliano Inusa dropped completely despite starting against Peru. Remember, we are talking about a man who has used 78 players in ten months. No consistency, no cohesion, no clarity, it's not a winning mix, is it?


    TEAM NEWS: Diego Maradona keeps Martin Palermo on the bench despite his 'miracle' in their dramatic win against Peru, with Gonzalo Higuain partnering Lionel Messi. Juan Sebastian Veron returns in midfield. Meanwhile, Uruguay have the dangerous Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez in attack.


    This game is one of the oldest rivalries in international football with the neighbours first meeting in 1901. Uruguay beat Argentina in the 1930 World Cup final, in this very stadium, but a win tonight would be one of their most famous since that day.


    Maradona's reign started on November 19, 2008, with a friendly win against Scotland. Nearly 12 months on, will it end at the Estadio Cenetario in Montevideo? Only time will tell...


    While we wait for that all important team news, and given Diego Maradona's recent selections that could include himself, I will run you through the possible outcomes. 1. Argentina will qualify with a win, as will Uruguay. 2. A draw will hand Argentina the fourth qualifying spot, unless Ecuador beat Chile by five goals, in which case Argentina will be down in fifth and facing a play-off. 3. If Argentina lose and Ecuador win, then Maradona's side will NOT be going to the finals. Unthinkable? Maybe


    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the quite simply mammoth World Cup qualifier between Uruguay and Argentina. Games just don't get any bigger than this (apart from the finals themselves of course). The teams will be with you shortly.


    Join us at 2300 BST, for commentary on the crucial World Cup qualifier between Uruguay and Argentina.