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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Rodriguez scores for Uruguay 1 - Australia 0

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Uruguay found almost no open spaces on the attack, in their attempt to break the Australian defence. Even a free kick by Diego Forlan in the second minute was batted away by Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Mark Viduka later booted a 35-meter shot that Fabian Carini managed to knock away with an amazing save. The ball went bouncing harmlessly into a corner.

Diego Forlan, who was Uruguay's top scorer in South American qualifying, had to leave the field in the first half because of a left leg muscle pull that was acting up. He had not been expected to play after injuring himself recently while playing for Villarreal.

In the 47th minute, Australia nearly missed when Viduka took a pass from teammate Scott Chipperfield and kicked it wide of the net. In the final minutes, Jason Culina booted a powerful shot for Australia that also skidded wide of the net.

Four years ago, Uruguay lost the first leg 1-0 in Melbourne but won on aggregate after a 3-0 victory in Montevideo. The final match of that series was marred by rowdy fan incidents that caused a near international incident as Australian players complained they were harassed and spat upon.

Heavy security was in place around the Socceroos this time around and there was no repeat of any fan incidents.

Squads:

Uruguay: Fabian Carini, Diego Lopez (Guillermo Rodriguez, 63), Carlos Diogo, Paolo Montero, Dario Rodriguez, Diego Perez, Pablo Garcia, Alvaro Recoba, Richard Morales, Marcelo Zalayeta (Fabian Estoyanoff, 62) and Diego Forlan (Dario Silva, 18).

Australia: Mark Schwarzer, Tony Vidmar, Lucas Neill, Tony Popovic, Brett Emerton, Jason Culina, Scott Chipperfield, Vince Grella, Archie Thomspon (Marco Bresciano, 52), Tim Cahill y Mark Viduka (John Aloisi, 79).

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