The Uruguay vs Jordan FIFA Intercontinental Playoff first leg will begin this Wednesday, November 13, 2013 (7:00 AM Pacific) at the International Stadium in Amman, Jordan. The home team is a big underdog to the Uruguayans, who made it all the way to the semifinals in the last edition of the World Cup. If Jordan wants to make history by going to the World Cup, it must finish Wednesday’s match in Amman with a Victory.
Although Jordan is not the favorite heading into this intercontinental playoff series, they do have the advantage of having already participated in a playoff during this qualifying campaign, as an underdog nonetheless. Jordan faced Uzbekistan in the Asian qualifiers, eventually defeating the favorite Central Asian nation via penalties.
Against Uruguay, Jordan will face a group of talented players that make a living in Europe; Jordan does not really have any superstars on its squad. That’s why Jordan must rely on its teamwork and mental fortitude if it wants to overcome the Uruguayan threat.
There are three things that need to happen if Jordan wants to defeat Uruguay in Amman. First, the porous Jordanian defense, which allowed 16 goals through eight Asian qualifying matches, needs to tighten up. Second, Ahmad Hayel Ibrahim, the leading Jordanian striker (7 goals this qualifying campaign), needs to have a good game. Finally, Jordan must take advantage of playing the first game of the playoff at home.
Jordan went undefeated at home in the Asian qualifiers, even going as far as beating Asian powerhouses Japan and Australia in Amman. However, Jordan was awful in away matches, where it was unable to earn a single point. If Jordan hopes to go to the World Cup, it must defeat Uruguay in Amman.
On the other side of the pitch we have a Uruguayan squad filled with superstars, which struggled in the arduous South American qualifiers. Uruguay finished fifth in the standings with 25 points, just 1 point away from automatic qualification. However, that doesn’t mean Uruguay is weak; in 2010, when Uruguay reached the World Cup semifinals, Uruguay had reached the World Cup via a playoff against Costa Rica.
Uruguay also possesses a pair of distinguished strikers, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, who have combined to score 16 goals in the South American qualifiers. Just comparing the roster of both squads, you would think Uruguay would come out with a victory at the 16,000 capacity International Stadium. However, Jordan has been invincible at home, while Uruguay struggled quite a bit in its away matches.
Uruguay vs Jordan Prediction
This is a match where you can’t simply look at the FIFA standings and pick the obvious favorite. Yes, there is a huge gap in the quality of each team’s roster. However, I believe that Jordan, playing its biggest match in its history, in front of a riled up home crowd, will prove to be more than a difficult opponent for Uruguay. I predict the Uruguay vs Jordan first leg match will end in a 1-1 draw, leaving everything up to the return leg in Montevideo (November 20).
In the end, I believe Uruguay will win by a wide margin at home, sending the South Americans to the World Cup.
Uruguay vs Jordan Television
The Uruguay vs Jordan match will be televised on One World Sports on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 (7:00 AM Pacific).