LA PLATA - Luis Suarez struck twice in
three minutes as Uruguay beat Peru 2-0 in an enthralling
encounter on Tuesday to reach the Copa America final and remain
on course for a record 15th title.
Uruguay, fourth at last year's World Cup, go into the final
at the Monumental in Buenos Aires against either Paraguay or
Venezuela who clash in Wednesday's semi-final in Mendoza.
Uruguay went ahead eight minutes into the second half when
Diego Forlan, the 2010 World Cup's best player, shot left-footed
from outside the box forcing Raul Fernandez into a diving save
and the ever alert Suarez nipped in to net the rebound from a
tight angle on the right.
Suarez scored again three minutes later when Alvaro Pereira
passed between two defenders from the left and the striker beat
the offside trap, rounded Fernandez on the edge of the box and
steered the ball gently home.
Peru captain Juan Vargas was then sent off in the 69th
minute for elbowing Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates in the
"Today was a match in which we had to go out and attack, to
play, and luckily it worked out well," Suarez, comparing it with
a more defensive performance against hosts Argentina in
Uruguay's quarter-final win on penalties, said in a televised
"I think that to play the final in Argentina is great. Now
we have to enjoy (the moment), the important thing is we reached
the final which was our objective."
The first clear chance fell to Uruguayan midfielder Pereira
in the 16th minute from a throw-in on the right but his shot
from point-blank range was smothered by Fernandez.
Eight minutes later Peru had a chance when Vargas sent a low
ball in from the left touchline across the face of goal but
forwards Paolo Guerrero and Luis Advincula could not get a
Peru central defender Wilmer Acasiete then had to be alert
to cut across from the left to make a last-ditch clearance from
Suarez in the 35th minute as Uruguay pushed for the opener.
Uruguay thought they had taken the lead when they had the
ball in the net from a Forlan free-kick in the 42nd but Pereira's
effort was ruled offside.
In the second half, despite falling two behind and being a
man down, Peru continued to press and defender Walter Vilchez
had a header from a corner saved on the line by Fernando Muslera
in the 73rd minute.
Guerrero then struck a swerving shot that deceived the
Uruguay goalkeeper, who could only palm the ball before
goal-wards before diving to prevent it going over his line.
At the death, Guerrero did not quite get his head to
substitute William Chiroque's right cross as another Peru chance
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