Jordan’s debut World Cup dream decimated by Uruguay

Standing in their way were Uruguay, 1950 World Cup winners and ranked as the sixth best team on the planet, brimming with world class talent like Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani.

But though the team known as ‘Al-Nashama’, which translates as ‘The Brave Gentlemen’, battled gamely in the first leg of their playoff in front of their reigning monarch King Abdullah, the dream is all but over.

Uruguay ran out 5-0 winners in Amman, delighting their small pocket of fans who made the journey from South America, meaning the mother of all footballing miracles will be needed if Jordan are to qualify.

Still, a portion of their deflated supporters stayed behind after the final whistle to applaud the opposition, whose superior quality told in goals from Maxi Pereira, Christian Stuani, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Rodriguez and Cavani.

Jordan started well, Odai Al Saify nearly sneaking a shot inside the near post of Uruguay goalkeeper Martín Silva, but the home side were soon on the back foot.

The deadlock was broken on 22 minutes when Pereira, who plays in Portugal for Benfica, tapped home from close range after Cavani’s header had been parried by Jordanian goalkeeper Abdulla al-Zubi.

The second wasn’t far behind as Stuani steered a low shot into the net after poor defending allowed a cross to fall to the striker, who plys his club trade for Espanyol in Spain.

After the interval, Jordan fashioned their best chance of the game but Ibrahim al-Zawareh missed the target from close range after Shareef Adnan’s inviting cross.

Lodeiro made it three on 69 minutes, sweeping home after good work from Cavani and Rodriguez grabbed a fourth moments later with a crisp volley from inside the area.

Jordan’s misery was complete in time added on as Cavani got the goal his performance warranted, arrowing a free kick from 25 yards into the top corner.

The return leg is in Montevideo next Wednesday but Jordan will travel to South America in the knowledge that their first World Cup appearance is set to elude them again.

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