• World Cup play-offs

Uruguay, Mexico all but seal World Cup spots

ESPN staff
November 13, 2013
Uruguay head to Montevideo with a 5-0 lead © Getty Images

Uruguay look almost certain to qualify for the 2014 World Cup after winning 5-0 at Jordan on Wednesday in the first leg of their intercontinental play-off.

Goals from Maxi Pereira, Cristian Stuani, Nicolas Lodeiro, Cristian Rodriguez and Edinson Cavani put Uruguay in a dominant position ahead of their home game in Montevideo next week.

Luis Suarez set up Pereira's 22nd-minute opener, and Stuani made it 2-0 just before half-time.

Jordan had long spells of possession in the second half but were vulnerable on the counter-attack, with Lodeiro slotting in from the edge of the box in the 69th minute and an unmarked Rodriguez hitting a crisp volley from close range in the 78th.

Cavani slotted a free kick into the top right corner of the net in stoppage time.

Mexico swept to a 5-1 victory over New Zealand in the first leg of their intercontinental play-off to become the overwhelming favourite for a place at next year's finals.

Paul Aguilar put Mexico ahead in the 32nd minute and Raul Jimenez made it 2-0 before the break.

Oribe Peralta added two more in the second half before Rafael Marquez scored in the 84th and Chris James grabbed a consolation goal for New Zealand a minute later.

Mexico, who were fortunate to reach the play-off, face New Zealand in the second leg next Wednesday.

Mexico scored only seven goals in 10 qualifying games, but broke through under new coach Miguel Herrera. Herrera, the fourth Mexico coach in two months, used only players based in Mexico's domestic league.

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