Uruguay's World Cup hopes are left hanging in the balance

A World Cup with no Luis Suarez or Edinson Cavani? Uruguay’s Qatar hopes are hanging by a thread after being thrashed 3-0 by 10-man Bolivia in La Paz… leaving them out of South America’s qualifying spots

  • Uruguay were soundly beaten by Bolivia in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday
  • Juan Carlos Arce scored twice and Marcelo Martins Moreno also found the net  
  • It leaves Luis Suarez and Co facing an uphill battle to secure a top-five berth  

Uruguay have left themselves a mammoth task in their bid to reach the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after they were soundly beaten by Bolivia on Tuesday.

Luis Suarez and Co suffered a 3-0 defeat at Estadio Hernando Siles, as two goals from Juan Carlos Arce and another from marcelo Martins Moreno secured a straightforward victory for the hosts – who were even reduced to 10 men. 

Playing in the Bolivian capital of La Paz was always going to be a tough ask – the city sits 3,637m above sea level making it one of the highest altitude stadiums in world football.

Indeed, to combat the effects, the visitors did not fly into Bolivia until three hours before kick off.  

It was the fifth consecutive qualifying clash which Uruguay have failed to win – four of which ended in defeat. 

Uruguay’s World Cup hopes took a huge hit on Tuesday when they were beaten by Bolivia 

It leaves La Celeste stuck in seventh spot in the South American qualifying group, one point behind fourth and fifth spot with just four matches remaining.

In the CONMEBOL group stage, the top four automatically qualify for the finals, while fifth spot are placed into an intercontinental play-off. 

There is some comfort for Oscar Tabarez’s side, despite their recent form, in the shape of their upcoming opponents.

They have already faced both Brazil and Argentina twice, the two sides that have already qualified for Qatar, while they do not need to face Ecuador, who look set to secure third spot.

The result leaves Luis Suarez and Co sat in seventh place in the CONMEBOL standings

Instead, Uruguay’s four remaining fixtures come against sides around them in the table.

They must face both Peru and Chile, who currently occupy fifth and sixth spots, while their other two remaining fixtures come against Venezuela and Paraguay – the two sides sat in the bottom two spots. 

If Uruguay do fail to qualify, it will be the first time since Germany 2006 they have not appeared at the World Cup.

In each of the last three editions, they have made it out of the group stages. They have also been reliant on the intercontinental play-offs too, finishing fifth in the CONMEBOL table in four of the last five qualifying campaigns. 

Bolivia, meanwhile, have reginited their own hopes of making a first World Cup finals since USA 1994. 

They are just one point behind Uruguay, with matches still to come against Venezuela, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.

The result reignites Bolivia’s own pursuit of a place at the World Cup in Qatar next winter

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