Australia To Face Uruguay Again

Australia's opponent in the final Powerade Series Match for 2005 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier on November 16 in Sydney will be Uruguay.

Australia's opponent in the final Powerade Series Match for 2005 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier on November 16 in Sydney will be Uruguay.

Just as they did four years ago Uruguay concluded the South American qualifying tournament as the fifth ranked nation earning them a home and away sudden death play-off against Australia for a place at Germany 2006.

Uruguay will visit Australia for the decider at Sydney's Telstra Stadium as part of the Powerade Series on Wednesday 16 November. 

Uruguay will host the first leg four days earlier on Saturday 12 November.

It was the Uruguayans who ended Australia's dreams of qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup with victory in the play-off matches in November 2001.  Australia winning 1-0 at home before Uruguay turned the tables with a 3-0 second leg victory. “To finish in fifth place in South America means that Uruguay is a powerhouse nation,” said Australian coach Guus Hiddink. “We have improved and will need to continue to improve to challenge Uruguay.” “Some of the squad were there four years ago so they know what to expect, they have experienced the conditions they will be playing under.” FFA Chief Executive John O-Neill said “Uruguay will undoubtedly prove to be a very tough opponent, however the Socceroos under coach Guus Hiddink are well prepared and this is arguably our best chance to qualify for the world's biggest sporting event.” "I urge the Australian sporting public to get behind our team and the second leg at Telstra Stadium is the chance for supporters to help make home ground advantage really count as the Socceroos look to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 32 years."

"We are all hoping that November 16 will prove to be one of those defining moments in Australian sporting history making the match an occasion not to be missed."

"Demand for tickets in the Football Family offer has been exceptional and we are expecting a similar level of interest when tickets go on general sale next Wednesday (October 19)."

Uruguay confirmed their appearance in the play-off matches with a dramatic 1-0 win over Argentina this morning in Montevideo.  The result ensuring they finished ahead of Colombia and Chile who were also in contention as possible opponents for the Socceroos.

FFA Assistant Coach Graham Arnold and National Technical Manager Ron Smith were in Montevideo today for the match and along with Team Manager Gary Moretti will now scope the host country and also visit several locations in other countries to find the most suitable place to prepare. Uruguay have a proud football tradition and have twice been FIFA World Cup winners winning the first ever tournament which they hosted in 1930 before repeating the win 20 years later in 1950.

Despite the result four years ago Australia has had the better of the encounters between the two nations with the Socceroos winning three, drawing one and losing two of the six matches played since the first match-up in 1974.  Australia securing a win and a draw on that occasion which was just prior to Australia's participation at the 1974 FIFA World Cup. (*See below for full results between Australia and Uruguay).

MATCH ONE Uruguay v Australia Saturday 12 November 2005, TBC TBC MATCH TWO

Australia v Uruguay Wednesday 16 November 2005, 8pm Telstra Stadium, Sydney   General Public On Sale: 9.00am (AEDST) Wednesday 19 October.

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Uruguay 3 Australia 0 Montevideo, Nov 2001 (FIFA World Cup Play-off, 2nd leg)

Australia 1 Uruguay 0 Melbourne, Nov 2001 (FIFA World Cup Play-off, 1st leg)

Australia 1 Uruguay 0 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Dec 1997 (FIFA Confederations Cup semi final)

Uruguay 2 Australia 0 Montevideo, June 1992

Australia 2 Uruguay 0 Sydney, April 1974

Australia 0 Uruguay 0 Melbourne, April 1974