[Yeah, join the club]
Uruguay team not arrogant, says coach
MELBOURNE, Australia, Nov 18 (AFP) - The Uruguayan team Sunday put up a wall
of secrecy around them ahead of Tuesday's first leg World Cup qualifier
against Australia here and dismissed media claims there were arrogant.
Coach Victor Pua didn't give much away at a press conference here with none
of his players made available for interview as well as being non-committal
about the lineup he would field against the Australians.
"It's good for us to say we'll try to play the game to win the game," Pua
He was evasive about the team he would send out on to the Melbourne Cricket
"We have 24 hours left. You could say I've got the base of the team," he
Pua was asked about his response to a local newspaper report branding his
side***y and arrogant and quoting superstar striker Alvaro Recoba as
saying Australia was not a Brazil or Argentina.
Pua said the two-time World Cup champions had a proud football history, but
Australia was a good side and would be a tough opponent.
"We are not like this (arrogant). Maybe this tries to create some atmosphere
about the game," Pua said.
"I know there's maybe only one person in Australia who thinks like this. I
don't want to put every Australian reporter into the same basket."
Pua hedged when asked about how the Uruguayans would tackle their away leg,
knowing a good result in Melbourne would be an enormous boost going into
next Sunday's (May 25) home leg in Montevideo.
"I feel I know the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian team," Pua
"I will say nothing except we will try to take advantage of the things that
The Uruguayans trained behind locked gates again on Sunday as team officials
try to find a way to get their players back across the Pacific to Montevideo
with the least inconvenience as possible following Tuesday's game.
Compounding the Uruguayans' task of winning over the two playoff legs was
Sunday's revelations that they will arrive back home almost a day after the
Australian officials had already secured advance bookings knowing Uruguay
was the most likely playoff option.
Uruguay didn't know they would definitely be travelling to play Australia
until last Wednesday after locking up fifth place in a 1-1 draw with
If some seats can be found on South America-bound planes on Wednesday, the
Uruguayans may return home in two groups - with the starting 11 expected to
get first preference at the earliest flights to minimise the risk of
Uruguay, World Cup winners in 1930 and 1950, have not qualified for the
finals since 1990, while Australia have not repeated their sole 1974
In four previous encounters, Australia have won twice, drawn and lost once
to Uruguay - the Socceroos' last win came at the 1997 Confederations Cup in
Riyadh where they won their semi-final 1-0 before losing to Brazil 6-0 in