x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Copa fate is still in Uruguay's hands, says Luis Suarez

Uruguay, one of pre-tournament favourites, are held to a second consecutive draw, by Chile, but the Liverpool forward is still confident of making quarter-finals.

Uruguay's fate is in their own hands after they could only draw their second straight Copa America group match, striker Luis Suarez said after Friday's 1-1 showing with Chile.

The draw left the Chileans top of Group C on four points and the Uruguayans now must see off Mexico in their final pool match to ensure a spot in the quarter-finals.

The Charruas have won a joint record 14 titles, with Argentina, but having also been held by Peru they are having anything but an easy ride.

"We have our fate in our own hands," insisted Liverpool forward Suarez, who set up Alvaro Pereira's opener before Alexis Sanchez gave the Chileans a well-deserved point.

"We just have to think ahead to Mexico. Our goal is to win the Copa," he added.

Uruguay were favoured to win the group after their fine showing in reaching last summer's World Cup finals but they have work to do if they are to advance after suffering a similar slow start to hosts Argentina, also held in both of their opening two games.

With the two best third-placed teams also advancing to the quarters, a draw might well prove sufficient from their final game, but Suarez said they could afford to leave nothing to chance and would go out to land three points.

In the group's other game, a late goal from Paolo Guerrero took Peru to the brink of the quarter-finals after his effort delivered a 1-0 win over Mexico, who have sent an Under 23 side to the tournament.

Peru have not won the Copa for 36 years and endured an abysmal World Cup qualifying campaign but they have made an impressive start here with first a draw against Uruguay and now a win over a young Mexican side.

Sergio Markarian's team made a slow start but gradually began to impose themselves at the Malvinas stadium and although they missed several clear-cut chances they finally pulled out a goal which took them level with neighbouring Chile, who also have four points after holding the Uruguayans to add to a win over the Mexicans.

With one foot in the last eight, the Peruvians will now meet Chile in their Pacific "clasico" on Tuesday.


* Agence France-Presse