Simoes: Costa Rica stalled by touchline fracas

MONTEVIDEO - Costa Rica coach Rene Simoes questioned the motives of a Uruguayan camera crew whose touch-line fracas with his bench stole the South American team's momentum during their World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

The Central Americans managed to get a 1-1 draw at the Centenario in their play-off on Wednesday but Uruguay went through to the finals in South Africa having won the first leg 1-0 in San Jose.

Simoes thought the momentum in the match had swung to his team after captain Walter Centeno had cancelled out Uruguay substitute Sebastian Abreu's goal.

But fighting between a Uruguayan camera crew and the Costa Rican bench players halted the match for almost five minutes.

The Brazilian coach lamented the fight, and suggested a similar tactic in their final CONCACAF qualifer against the United States when they were minutes from victory could have worked in their favour.

The U.S. grabbed a last-gasp equaliser that handed Honduras the final automatic CONCACAF berth and sent Simoes's team into the play-off against Uruguay.

"I don't know how the press gets access to fight," Simoes told reporters.

"We didn't have the malice that the Uruguayans had. After we equalised (on Wednesday), the match was halted when we were playing at our best.

"In Costa Rica that malice doesn't exist. If it did, we would have done that against the United States," he added.

The teams reached the play-off after Uruguay finished fifth in the South American qualifiers behind Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Argentina and Costa Rica fourth in CONCACAF behind the United States, Mexico and Honduras.

"I'm calm now, we're in the World Cup," Uruguay's relieved coach Oscar Washington Tabarez said.

"This team has a lot of things that need improving but also many virtues ... We have the chance in six months to correct or lessen all our defects and show that in a World Cup."