Fede Valverde, the 19-year-old Real Madrid prospect who is not racist, just made an enormous impact with what Ray Hudson dubbed a “wicked deflection” in his debut match for Uruguay. The young midfielder got lucky in the 76th minute, scoring a long-range goal that bounced through the defense and became the opening strike of an eventual 2-1 Uruguay win over Paraguay.
It wasn’t the only luck Uruguay would have in the second half. A few minutes later, a break from Luis Suárez led to a ridiculous own goal that pinballed off the crossbar, off the body of defender Gustavo Gómez and finally into the net for what would hold up as the winner.
In what’s been an intensely competitive qualifying cycle in South America, this charmed victory should give Uruguay all they need to make the World Cup. While they aren’t officially through, they vault into second place (four teams qualify directly) with its two remaining games coming against the bottom two teams. They have the laws of physics to thank for that.