World Cup: Uruguay take commanding 5-0 lead over Jordan in FIFA World Cup playoff first leg
Uruguayans will be getting a head start on booking their tickets to Brazil.
La Celeste, who featured Chicago Fire midfielder Arevalo Rios logging a full 90 minutes at defensive midfielder, took a massive step toward a second straight World Cup appearance on Wednesday with a clinical 5-0 away win over Jordan in a World Cup playoff in Amman.
Maximiliano Pereira, Cristian Stuani, Nicolas Lodeiro, Cristian Rodriguez and Edinson Cavani all found the back of the net to give Uruguay an imposing lead in the aggregate-goal series ahead of the second leg on Nov. 20 at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo.
Lax defending by Jordan helped Uruguay jump out to a 2-0 lead before halftime. Pereira was the first to a rebound in the box after a header by Cavani was saved in the 22nd minute.
Three minutes before the break, it was Lodeiro serving a ball over the top for Stuani, who had an easy finish after a Jordanian defender missed the clearance.
Then in the 69th minute, Cavani ran onto a through ball in the Jordan box, attracting the full attention of the Jordan backline. That left Lodeiro all alone near the top of the box to loft a left-footed shot into the top corner and extend the lead to 3-0.
The fourth tally came in the 78th minute. A cross from the left side found Rodriguez all alone on the right side of the box and he blasted a left-footed shot into the back of the net.
Cavani capped the scoring with a majestic free kick in stoppage time for the 5-0 final, ensuring the party will likely be on at the Centenario next week.
Uruguay earned a spot in the playoff by virtue of their fifth-place finish in South American World Cup qualifying. Jordan clinched a berth into the playoff from the Asian confederation by eliminating Uzbekistan.