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Bielsa’s Uruguay make winning start to World Cup qualifiers


Bielsa’s Uruguay make winning start to World Cup qualifiersSeptember 9, 2023Montevideo, Sep 9 (IANS) Nicolas de la Cruz scored twice as Uruguay began their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-1 home victory over Chile.De la Cruz put the hosts ahead when he side-footed home from the edge of the six-yard box after Chile’s defense was split open by Darwin Nunez’s one-touch pass, reports Xinhua.Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde doubled the advantage on the stroke of halftime by rifling a low shot from outside the penalty area into the bottom-left corner.The Celeste continued to dominate after the interval and De La Cruz made it 3-0 when he was again set up by Nunez for an easy tap-in.Arturo Vidal struck a late consolation goal with a close-range effort after Diego Valdez’s header rebounded off the crossbar.The fixture marked the Celeste’s competitive debut under Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa, who was appointed in May following the sacking of Diego Alonso.Bielsa has promised to promote youth in a bid to rebuild a team that failed to reach the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.The 68-year-old former Argentina and Chile manager left strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani – who are first and second on Uruguay’s list of all-time leading scorers – out of his squad for the first two rounds of the South American zone qualifiers.The Celeste will meet Ecuador in Quito in their next qualifier on Tuesday, while Chile face Colombia in Santiago the same day.–IANScshttps://ians.in/detail/bielsas-uruguay-make-winning-start-to-world-cup-qualifiers–20230909091947/

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