x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Luis Suarez earns Uruguay a laboured draw with Peru

The 2010 World Cup semi-finalists come from behind to draw 1-1 with Peru, meaning that all three of the seeded Copa America sides have failed to win their opening matches.

SAN JUAN ARGENTINA // Uruguay, the 2010 World Cup semi-finalists, came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Peru, meaning that all three of the seeded sides at the Copa America have failed to win their opening matches.

After Argentina's 1-1 draw with Bolivia and Brazil's goalless stalemate with Venezuela, the Uruguayans came out determined to beat a Peru side who finished bottom of the South American qualifying group for the 2010 World Cup.

But it was the Peruvians who took the lead in the 24th minute of the Group C clash, against the run of play.

Michael Guevara, the midfielder, hoofed a speculative pass through the heart of the Uruguayan defence and the two centre-backs stood like statues, waiting for the offside flag.

The flag stayed down, leaving Peru's lone striker Paolo Guerrero with a clear run on goal. He rounded the keeper and stroked the ball home.

Uruguay kept plugging away, with Diego Forlan inevitably at the heart of their most threatening moves, and in first-half injury-time their perseverance paid off.

Nicolas Lodeiro squeezed the ball through to Luis Suarez inside the box and the Liverpool striker buried his shot in the bottom left hand corner of the net with almost the last kick of the half.

Forlan should have put Uruguay ahead in the 69th minute after a neat exchange of passes with Suarez, but scooped his shot over the bar.

Peru also could have grabbed a winner in the final minute of the match but the Fiorentina striker Juan Manuel Vargas placed his diving header just wide of goal.

Again in this tournament, the better team — in this case Uruguay — were thwarted by a solid defensive performance from their less-fancied opponents.