Salas scores twice as Chile hold Uruguay

MONTEVIDEO, Nov 19 (Reuters) Chile striker Marcelo Salas, recalled to the team in August after a two-year absence, scored twice to help his side draw 2-2 away to Uruguay World Cup qualifier.

Luis Suarez gave Uruguay a halftime lead before Salas, who stopped playing for six months earlier this year, scored twice in 11 minutes, the second from a penalty, to put Chile in front yesterday.

Sebastian Abreu salvaged a late equaliser for Uruguay and the result left both teams with four points from three games in the 10-team South American group.

Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa said his team did not deserve to win.

''If we had won the match, it would not have coincided with what happened on the field of play, for which reason the point which we obtained was valuable to us,'' he said.

Uruguay midfielder Diego Perez said: ''We will have to try win back the points which we lost here. It's important to win points at home but it's a long tournament.'' Uruguay had the better of the first half and Suarez had one shot blocked by Claudio Bravo before he latched onto Vicente Sanchez's pass to score in the 41st minute.

Chile stunned the Centenario crowd in the 59th minute when Carlos Villanueva sent over an inswinging cross from the left and Salas flung himself at the ball to score with a diving header.

It was the 32-year-old's first goal for Chile since he scored against Bolivia in June 2005.

The drama continued in the 70th minute when Uruguay captain Diego Lugano bundled over Matias Fernandez and Salas, Chile's all-time leading scorer, converted the penalty for his 37th international goal.

The hosts appeared shell-shocked but conjured an equaliser when Jorge Fucile burst down the left and pulled the ball back for Abreu to fire into the roof of the net from six metres.

Reuters TB DB0944

Story first published: Monday, November 19, 2007, 10:08 [IST]
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