Uruguay Moves Into Fifth Place

The prospects of a Uruguay repeat to qualify for the World Cup finals is on the cards, following the latest round of qualifiers from the Conmebol group (South America).

The prospects of a Uruguay repeat to qualify for the World Cup finals is on the cards, following the latest round of qualifiers from the Conmebol group (South America).

Uruguay scored a dramatic 3-2 win at home against previous 5th placed team Colombia, to move into position as Australia-s potential opponent in November.

Australia is almost guaranteed its place in the November play-off, after defeating the Solomon Islands 7-0 on Saturday night and should confirm its place on Tuesday afternoon after the second leg in Honiara.

Uruguay moved into 5th place thanks to a Marcelo Zalayeta winner in the 86th minute, to a complete a hat-trick and keep their hopes alive. The home side looked to have squandered a win when they allowed Colombia to come back from two goals down late in the match in Montevideo, but Zalayeta made the visitors pay for their over-exuberance in attack, to tap home from close range for the winner.

With two matches remaining, Uruguay is now one point ahead of Colombia and Chile, while Venezuela is still in with a shout of qualifying three points behind the Uruguayans.

The top four looks almost assured with both Ecuador and Paraguay grabbing victories, the latter-s over Argentina in what was the biggest shock of round. Argentina and Brazil have qualified, while Ecuador and Paraguay only need one more win to confirm their place at Germany 2006.

What is almost guaranteed though is the 5th place team will not be decided until the final round, with Uruguay, Colombia, Chile and Venezuela all facing difficult matches in their final games.

Uruguay face the almost impossible task of getting a result against Ecuador at high altitude, before returning home to play arch rivals Argentina.

Colombia and Chile-s hopes will basically come down to whoever can win when they meet in Bogot√°, Colombia, while the Colombian-s will then visit fourth-placed Paraguay and Chile will host Ecuador.

Venezuela have a winnable match at home against Paraguay, but face a tough task of beating Brazil in Brazil, which they must do to have even the slimmest of chances.

Australia lost the 2002 World Cup play-off against Uruguay 3-1 on aggregate.