Tabarez: Uruguay still in good position despite loss


Uruguay head coach Oscar Tabarez remains upbeat about his team's World Cup qualifying chances, despite Tuesday's loss to Chile.

Tabarez and Co. left Santiago empty-handed as Chile rallied to beat second-placed Uruguay 3-1 in their CONMEBOL showdown.

Uruguay were in the box seat thanks to Edinson Cavani's 17th-minute opener but Chile clawed their way back thanks to Eduardo Vargas in first-half stoppage time, before Alexis Sanchez scored twice following the interval.

Luis Suarez also saw his 88th-minute penalty saved by Claudio Bravo.

The defeat snapped Uruguay's four-match unbeaten streak, while preventing the country from temporarily leapfrogging Brazil atop the South American standings.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Tabarez said: "It is football. The last game we beat Ecuador [2-1] with many problems, we did not complain.

"We are very much alive. We hope to solve these problems and start the race in March.

"Although we lost today, we are in a good position, considering the previous performances in the qualifiers.

"Today we could have won. The most important thing is the group mentality, attitude. The players left everything on the field."

"In football there are no fair results when opportunities are created and do not materialise," added Tabarez, who will be without Suarez for the match against Brazil next year after the star picked up a yellow card.

"Chile tried the same in the second half after we he had tried in the first. 

"Maybe we gave space to their important players. Sanchez is no surprise. Bravo was also decisive."