- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

KLAGENFURT, Austria (AP) - Midfielder Alvaro Pereira scored a second-half equalizer to help Uruguay draw 1-1 with Austria in the South Americans’ World Cup warmup game on Wednesday.

Two minutes after replacing Cristian Rodriguez, Pereira tapped in after Austria goalkeeper Heinz Lindner, who replaced Robert Almer at halftime, failed to gather the ball from a corner kick in the 66th.

Pereira’s sixth international goal leveled the match after Austria captain Marc Janko had given the home side an early lead.

In the 14th, Christoph Leitgeb set up Zlatko Junuzovic, whose deflected backheel pass reached Janko. The striker beat goalkeeper Fernando Muslera with a low shot from just inside the area.

David Alaba came close to doubling the score four minutes later when his 25-meter free kick hit the crossbar as Austria dominated the opening 20 minutes before Uruguay gained control in an entertaining first half.

“We gave the Austrians too much space in the first half,” Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said. “But in the second half, we were able to play our own game. Our defense stood better and we won more balls. It was a good test for us and also for Austria.”

Uruguay plays England, Italy and Costa Rica in Group D at the World Cup in Brazil. Austria failed to qualify.

Tabarez’s team has two friendlies left before the World Cup - against Northern Ireland on May 30 and against Slovenia five days later.

Uruguay was without defender Martin Caceres and forwards Abel Hernandez and Edinson Cavani because of injuries, though Cavani returned from a thigh injury and played as a substitute for Paris Saint-Germain in the French League on Sunday.

Uruguay had its first shot on target in the 23rd thanks to Luis Suarez, who beat goalkeeper Almer with a powerful free kick that bounced back from the crossbar.

Defender Jose Maria Gimenez missed Uruguay’s best chance in the first half eight minutes later when he picked up a free kick by Diego Forlan but lifted the ball over Austria’s goal.

A minute earlier, Gimenez had replaced captain Diego Lugano, who was hurt through a tackle by Austria winger Martin Harnik.

The match was less fluent in the second half, with Austria creating few opportunities and Uruguay becoming sloppy with its passing.

Suarez seemed to level the score in the 65th when he appeared unmarked in front of Lindner but the Austria ‘keeper saved his shot. However, Pereira scored from the following corner.

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