Uruguay qualified for the World Cup despite sputtering towards the end of South American Qualification when their offense couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.
Uruguay finished 5th in the CONMEBOL South American qualifying forcing them into a playoff for the right to enter the World Cup. The 5th best team on the continent doesn’t seem to be a fluke when you look at their performance against the teams that finished first through fourth. Uruguay had a record of 1-5-2 against the top tier of CONMEBOL being outscored in those eight games by a total of 12-6. That is a far cry from the record they posted against the bottom half of 5-1-4 outscoring those opponents 22-8. So it seems that the explosive offense only works on lesser competition which is not a good sign when facing two teams in Group A France and Mexico with the talent to overpower and outmatch Uruguay. Uruguay hopes that it can pull it together during their trip to South Africa and have a run that writes a new chapter in the nation’s history that rivals their storied Cup wins in 1930 and 1950.
Uruguay hasn’t made the tournament since 2002 in which they failed to advance from the group and before that they hadn’t qualified since 1990. So the recent history hasn’t been very glorious but they do have good enough players to move on to the second round. Diego Forlan is a scoring machine and if he is on top of his game then watch out for Uruguay to put their group back on their heels. He is joined by Sebastian Abreu and Luis Suarez both of whom can cause problems for the other team and must play well in order for Uruguay to have a successful tournament.
Uruguay opens against France and if they can catch this team sleeping and get a result it might be enough to get them through the next round. They should beat South Africa as they are much more talented then the hosts. Their final group opponent will be Mexico which will decide if they get to move through or not. A loss to France makes Mexico a must win situation and a tie in this game may decide second place by goal differential. Uruguay could win this group outright but second place would be more likely meaning they could very well face Argentina in the second round. Argentina beat them handedly twice in qualification but the teams know each other well so anything could happen.
I think Uruguay finishes third behind France and Mexico with a win over South Africa. If they do happen to advance I don’t think they get past the second round unless they win outright and draw the second place team from Group B.
Other Group A previews: