World Cup play-offs: Embarrassing

World Cup play-offs: Embarrassing
Uruguay's striker Luis Suarez (C) dribbles past Jordan's players during their FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifier.

They have been labelled the rising force in Asian football.

Having beaten the likes of Japan in World Cup qualifying, Jordan went on to oust Uzbekistan over two legs in the play-off round.

But when it came down to the crunch, the Jordanians crumbled.

Asia's No. 5 team (based on qualifying) were crushed 5-0 at home by Uruguay - South America's No. 5 - on Wednesday in the first leg of the World Cup play-off tie for next year's Finals in Brazil.

Even with the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in the Uruguay side, few would have predicted the large margin of victory in Amman; which begs the question: Is there a staggering gulf in standard between Asia and the rest of the world?

Yes, said two coaches and a football expert The New Paper spoke to.

All three agreed that outside of Asia's top four - Japan, South Korea, Australia and Iran - the rest of the continent lags far behind.

"It's a shocking result. You would expect Uruguay to win, but not by that margin, especially in Jordan," said former Singapore coach P N Sivaji.

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