MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Uruguay are 5-0 up going into the second leg of their World Cup playoff against Jordan at the Centenario on Wednesday and already dreaming of achieving another ‘Maracanazo’ at the finals in Brazil next year.
Before kickoff the hosts will honor 86-year-old Alcides Ghiggia who scored the winning goal and is the sole survivor of the 2-1 upset victory over Brazil that gave Uruguay their second world title in the 1950 final at the Maracana.
“What happened in that World Cup left a big mark on the Brazilian people,” Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani told a news conference on Monday.
“Uruguay have earned their respect,” said Cavani who scored a brilliant fifth goal with a venemous free kick in last week’s first leg in Amman.
The Uruguayans suffered a form slump in 2012 that jeopardized their qualification chances but were desperate to make it to Brazil, given the rivalry with their northern neighbors and the memory of the ‘Maracanazo’.
Cavani’s side, semi-finalists at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, do not want to show any lack of respect to their playoff opponents despite the one-sided nature of last week’s match.
The Interior Ministry have urged the sellout crowd of 45,000 at the Centenario, the stadium where Uruguay won their first World Cup in 1930, not to whistle or boo the Jordanian national anthem before kickoff.
“Uruguay took a substantial step towards qualifying for Brazil 2014 and they did so without humiliating their rivals even if the loaded scoreline appears to suggest the opposite,” the ministry said in a statement at the weekend.
“The thousands of Jordanians who watched the match enjoyed the light blues’s game. A packed stadium dreaming of another result ended up applauding our team, showing that respect is ... as valuable as the dream of playing at a World Cup.”
A team brimming with top talent such as Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and his strike partner Cavani would have to experience a true nightmare not to go through to the finals from this position.
Coach Oscar Tabarez, who is likely to name an unchanged team, is not expecting any complacency from his side.
“Footballers often feel their motivation according to their needs,” he said.
“When there’s no need there’s no motivation but I think as we get nearer the match ... things will fall into place and I hope we can fulfil our objective which is to play a very good match.”
Suarez, leading scorer with 11 goals in the 16-match South American qualifying group, did not manage to get on the scoresheet in the first leg and will be looking to put that right in the return tie.
The Jordanians know it is almost impossible to overturn their first-leg deficit.
“We’re not going to kid ourselves, we are very disappointed. We told everyone at home it would be difficult but we hoped to give much more,” said striker Tha‘er Bewab.
”Now we’ve come here for a good result. Above all for the public, we want to change our image.
“Apart from Cavani’s goal, the rest were from our mistakes. I don’t know if (it was) lack of concentration or what but they happened because we made mistakes we shouldn’t have made.”
Jordan’s Egyptian coach Hossam Hassan said: “We’re the only Arab team to have reached this stage. Our goal is to continue with the growth of this squad who have a great future.”
Additional reporting and writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires, editing by Tony Jimenez