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Jobu reviews Uruguay’s 8-0 drubbing of the Tahitian national team to close out the group stage of the Confederations Cup.

The group stage of the Confederations Cup came to an end over the weekend, and you’ll all be happy to know that Uruguay made my predictions come true. They slapped Tahiti around 8-0. When you combine that with Nigeria’s 3-0 loss to Spain, it means that Spain and Uruguay moved on to the semifinals. Here’s how it all went down…

Like in their match ups with Nigeria (6-1) and Spain (10-0), Tahiti was completely overmatched in this game. It’s not their fault, though. I’m not going to say that Tahiti didn’t deserve to be in the Confederations Cup, because they won the regional championship in Oceana, but sheesh. The Tahitian squad includes only one professional player. The rest are amateurs that make their living as janitors, accountants, and some of them don’t even have jobs to go back to when the Cup ends.

What they were able to do to even get to this tournament, let alone be on the same field as the greatest players in the world, should be commended. It was the feel good story of the tournament, but it ended at the right time. However, because the Tahitian squad was so overmatched, I didn’t really enjoy the fact that Uruguay was winning big. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy for the victory, but I really wanted the Tahitian squad to score a goal.

Hernandez celebrates one of his four goals against Tahiti. (Reuters)
22-year old Abel Hernandez celebrates one of his four Sunday goals. (Reuters)

I also thought it a bit odd that head coach Óscar Tabárez decided to put in head striker (and one of the best players in the world) Luis Suárez in the game in the 66th minute. Uruguay was already up 6-0, and Suárez is in the middle of a battle for Uruguay’s all-time scoring lead with teammate Diego Forlán. Suaréz came into the game one goal behind Forlán (as we discussed last week), and was up one on his older teammate by the end of the game. Curious. That’s all. If anything, they should have put in Forlán. Suárez is much younger and will eventually hold the record anyway, might as well throw the old guy a bone.

Anyway, like I said, this wasn’t a fun game. Uruguay sat their three big scorers (Forlán, Suárez and Edinson Cavani), goal tender Fernando Muslera and basically anyone else that’s good. That made for a bit of a sloppy game, but at least we got to see guys like Nicolas Lodeiro, Abel Hernández, Matías Aguirregaray, Sebastián Coates and Gastón Ramírez play. It was fun to see the possible next generation of players get some play. Hernández ended up with four goals in the game, and just missed tying the Uruguayan single-season record of five in one game (held by Hector Scarone).

Up next for Uruguay is the semifinal matchup with host nation Brazil. Brazil isn’t quite what they were in the mid-late 2000s, but they’re no joke. Also, their next generation superstar, 20-year old Neymar, has exploded onto the scene in this tournament. He’s had a couple of the best goals of the tournament, and should provide a real challenge for Uruguay’s defense. Kid can ball, which should be apparent, as he just signed with Barcelona not too long ago. To be honest, I think these two are playing for the right to lose to Spain, but oh well. I’d rather Uruguay lose to Spain in the finals than Brazil, right?

You can watch the game on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 PM on one of the ESPNs, or just use WatchESPN. Support la celeste!

Highlights, Anyone?

Martin Stezano

About Martin Stezano

Uruguayan born and American raised with a unique perspective on the domestic and international sports scenes. It will both tickle your funny bone and enlighten your mind. Love it or hate it...just read it.