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Uruguay revive World Cup hopes thanks to own goal

Uruguay revived their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup when they beat Chile 1-0 thanks to an own goal by debutant Italo Diaz on Tuesday.

Diaz, who plays for Cobreloa, had the misfortune to head the ball into his own net only 12 minutes into his first full international.

The defeat virtually extinguished any remaining hopes the Chileans may have had about qualifying for Japan and South Korea in 2002.

Twice former champions Uruguay are still sixth in the South American qualifying group with 18 points, but now only one point behind fifth-placed Colombia.

Chile stayed eighth with only 10 points from 12 games.

The top four teams qualify automatically while the fifth country will play off against the winners of the Oceania region.

Diaz's unlucky moment came when Alvaro Recoba took a free kick on the right, Federico Magallenes headed towards goal and the ball bounced off his shaven head into the net.

Chile dominated the rest of the game but, despite the determination of veteran striker Ivan Zamorano and some excellent play from midfielder Rodrigo Tello, they could not find a way past Fabian Carini in goal.

Carini was Uruguay's hero, making two almost identical saves from Zamorano as Chile pressed for an equaliser early in the second half.

On both occasions he managed to get his fingertips to powerful downward headers from the veteran striker to tip the ball around his post.

Despite the win Uruguay were uninspiring and Inter Milan's Recoba was substituted in the second half after another below-par performance for his country.

© Reuters Limited