'...There is one more match to go and we need to be sure we do things right,' Oscar Tabarez said ahead of the second tie with Jordan, indicating he would play a full-strength side despite a 5-0 first-leg advantage.
‘This is a serious game, not a training session’ Uruguay coach Tabarez says ahead of second leg v Jordan
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay // Uruguay will show no mercy to Jordan as they prepare to seal their World Cup qualifying berth here Wednesday after a first-leg thrashing of the Asian side which left them virtually assured of their ticket to Brazil.
The two-time world champions effectively need only to turn up for Wednesday’s game at the Centenario after dispatching the Jordanians with a 5-0 masterclass in last week’s away game in Amman.
Although it would take a result of miraculous proportions for Jordan to overturn the first leg scoreline, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez is leaving nothing to chance and plans to pick a full-strength side.
That means Jordan’s defence can expect another torrid encounter with the South Americans, who are spearheaded by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and Paris St Germain’s Edinson Cavani.
Tabarez said securing qualification in front of home fans would be a fitting finale to a gruelling qualification campaign which at one stage looked as if it may end in disaster for the 2010 World Cup semi-finalists.
“It’s very special and you hope to be able to celebrate after qualifying,” said Tabarez. “But there is one more match to go and we need to be sure we do things right,” he added.
Tabarez stopped short of naming his side but confirmed it would be based on the team which began the first leg in Amman, saying he was reluctant to pick players who had not had much game time.
“This is a serious game, not a training session,” he said. “We will not give minutes to players just for the sake of it.”
Midfielder Egidio Arevalo Rios admitted that Uruguay would take nothing for granted despite enjoying a five-goal lead from the first leg.
“We need to have the same concentration as last week, because even though we scored five goals, it could be a mistake not to take this game as seriously,” he said.
Meanwhile Uruguay star Suarez is expected to be rushed back to Merseyside following the game in order to be fit and available for Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Everton on Saturday.
Suarez was initially due to return to Britain on Friday, less than 24 hours before the Merseyside derby.
However Liverpool’s multi-millionaire American owner John Henry is offering to fly Suarez back to Britain on his private jet in order to give the striker an extra day to recover from international duty.