Last night Uruguay hosted a Joevin Jones-less Trinidad and Tobago side in an international friendly held at the mammoth stadium of Estadio Centenario (capacity 76,000). The sparse crowd of only about 10,000 (match review) received quite an entertaining show as the home side put the Soca Warriors away with a final scoreline of 3:1 . Man of the Match went to Uruguay's forward Edinson Cavani who scored a brace on the night.
For Sounders fans and Boca Juniors fans alike, the real story was the man pulling the strings, Mr. Nicolas Lodeiro. Perhaps you've heard of him? After undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus on his left knee less than one month ago, the midfielder returned to the pitch last night. Despite only playing the first half, the Uruguayan playmaker definitely left his mark on the game by tallying an assist, and taking a well-placed corner kick that led to the game-winner. Below are Lodeiro's best moments of the match:
- 2' - Lodeiro sends a perfectly weighted through ball into the box to right-winger Carlos Sanchez. The pass snuck by four Trinidad defenders and would have counted as an assist for Lodeiro if Sanchez (and Cavani) were not a half-yard offside. (replay)
- 25' - Lodeiro starts this play off with a simple inside pass (Keller) to fullback Pereira. While Pereira finds forward Rolan on the left side, Lodeiro is busting through the middle towards goal. Rolan picked his head up and hits a pass to onrushing Lodeiro who gets tripped up in the box for a penalty that Cavani ends up putting away to even the score at 1:1. (replay)
- 39' - Lodeiro sends in a left-footed in-swinging corner kick from the right flag. Uruguayan center midfielder Vecino got a head on it at the near post which caused the Trinidad keeper to bobble the ball just enough for Cavani to pounce. (replay)
Lately, concerns have been expressed by several S@H members, myself included, that Lodeiro's mended left meniscus could potentially affect his play in the future. If the midfielder's impressive debut performance last night against a formidable T&T side is any indicator of things to come, you would all be well advised to stop worrying and get hyped.
Full match highlights: