Chile overcome gritty Ecuador

Uruguay enter play-off stage

Chile beat Ecuador 2-1 in their closing South American qualifier in Santiago on Tuesday as both went through automatically to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. 

The result consigned Uruguay, despite beating group winners Argentina 3-2 in Montevideo, to a playoff against Jordan next month for one more berth in the finals. 

Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador occupied the top four automatic qualifying places in the nine-nation group with Uruguay going into the playoff next month, despite catching Ecuador on 25 points but having an inferior goal difference. 

They will face Asia qualifiers Jordan over two legs in their fourth consecutive playoff, having taken that route to the 2002 and 2010 finals and being eliminated by Australia at the same stage in the qualifiers for the 2006 finals. 

Chile striker Alexis Sanchez and midfielder Gary Medel scored in the first half for Chile with Felipe Caicedo pulling one back for the Ecuadoreans. 

Chilean pressure was rewarded in 35th minute when Sanchez scored with a header and Medel doubled their lead two minutes later connecting with Sanchez's header following a Marcelo Diaz corner. 

In Montevideo, midfielder Cristian Rodriguez, striker Luis Suarez with a penalty and Edinson Cavani scored for Uruguay with Maxi Rodriguez, Argentina captain in the absence of the injured Lionel Messi, replying twice. 

Uruguay, who also hit the woodwork twice in a fast-paced Rio de La Plata clasico at the Centenario, took an early lead when Argentina failed to clear a free kick by Suarez and the ball reached the unmarked Cristian Rodriguez who scored with a rising shot. 

His Argentine namesake Maxi equalised 10 minutes later when Augusto Fernandez chested the ball down into his path and he gave keeper Fernando Muslera no chance. 

Uruguay went ahead again when Suarez was awarded a dubious penalty and scored with his 11th goal, passing Messi's tally of 10 as top scorer in the group, and a record 39th Uruguay strike.

Maxi Rodriguez levelled again four minutes before halftime with another fine goal but Cavani struck the winner early in the second half in a fast counter-attack.

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