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Uruguay at the World Cup

Uruguay coach Diego Alonso
Uruguay coach Diego Alonso

Following is a stat box on Uruguay at the World Cup.

FIFA ranking: 14

Odds: 50/1

Previous tournaments: Uruguay won the inaugural World Cup in their capital Montevideo in 1930 and lifted it again in 1950 by upsetting hosts Brazil.

After failing to qualify for three out of four World Cups between 1994 and 2006 and exiting at the group stage in the other, Uruguay reached the semi-finals in 2010 - the furthest they had gone since 1970.

More recently, they lost to Colombia in the last 16 in 2014 and fell to eventual champions France in the quarter-finals in Russia four years ago.

How they qualified: Uruguay's grueling 18-round qualification campaign began with long-serving coach Oscar Tabarez in charge and ended under Diego Alonso, who sealed their World Cup place after presiding over four straight wins since taking over in December.

Tabarez was undone by a combination of injuries and a punishing run of fixtures - Uruguay suffered heavy defeats away to Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia in a four-game losing streak before getting back on track under Alonso.

Veteran forward Luis Suarez top-scored with eight goals as Uruguay won eight games and netted 22 times but conceded just as many, finishing third behind Brazil and Argentina. Form guide: Uruguay saw off Mexico 3-0, played out a 0-0 draw with the United States, and thrashed Panama 5-0 in June to continue their unbeaten run under Alonso.

They lost 1-0 against Iran - their first defeat under the new coach - before beating Canada 2-0 in their September friendlies.

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