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Copa America

  • July 19, 2011
  • • 8:45 PM
  • • Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, Provincia de Buenos Aires
  • Referee: R. Orozco
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Peru 0-2 Uruguay: Luis Suarez double books Copa America final for Oscar Tabarez's side

Peru 0-2 Uruguay: Luis Suarez double books Copa America final for Oscar Tabarez's side

Cristian Nacimbera (Goal.com)

Two second-half goals from the Liverpool man were enough to sink the Peruvian resistance, and send Uruguay into the Copa final for the first time since 1999.

LA PLATA, Argentina - A Luis Suarez quickfire double broke Peruvian hearts in La Plata, and ensured that Uruguay is the first team to book its place in the 2011 Copa America final with a 2-0 victory over the battling Inca outfit.

Suarez hit twice in five minutes to all but settle the game in the opening stages of the second half, making him joint top scorer for the tournament with Sergio Aguero, on three. Peru's task to turn its fortunes around was made even harder when captain Juan Manuel Vargas was expelled for a vicious elbow, but Sergio Markarian's team will go out with their heads held high after a gutsy display.

The game started at a great pace, with neither side willing to give an inch in front of the vociferous support. The result was an impressive quantity of fouls, and Victor Yotun found his way into the referee's notebook after just one minute.

Luis Suarez meanwhile found himself with an excellent chance after a free-kick went loose, but on the half-volley the Liverpool man shot high and wide to his own disgust. Raul Fernandez then morphed into an Inca hero with 15 minutes gone, twice denying Alvaro Pereira at his feet when a goal looked certain.

Peru was by no means second best, however, and halfway through the first period it had a glorious chance. Juan Manuel Vargas' cross flashed invitingly out of the reach of Fernando Muslera, but neither Paolo Guerrero or Luis Advincula could reach with their despairing lunges and the ball ran harmlessly out of play.

Uruguay finished the half with a spell of decent pressure, but despite threatening a handful of times - principally from the right boot of Diego Forlan on dead-ball situations - it could not break down a determined Peru team. Captain Diego Lugano thought that he had forced the ball in late in the half to open the score, but play was called back for a foul on goalkeeper Fernandez to ensure the sides went down the tunnel with nothing to separate them.

The breakthrough came just after the break, and it was to the joy of the Celeste section of the crowd. Forlan tried a speculative effort from outside the box, and when Fernandez spilled the ball it was Suarez who pounced first and chipped into the open net. The striker was mobbed by team mates on the side of the pitch, while the Uruguayan fans burst into song as a place in the final moved closer to becoming a reality.

The Liverpool man was on a roll, and slotted a second home just minutes later to make it 2-0. Alvaro Pereira played Suarez in with a delightful through-ball, and he made no mistake in rounding the keeper and rolling the ball in to send the Charrua into ecstasy.

Already on the ropes, Peru's chances took a further blow when inspirational captain Juan Manuel Vargas saw red, the referee sending him from the pitch for landing an elbow on Sebastian Coates's nose in a nasty move. The team kept trying and insisting, but could not find the means to break through the Uruguay back-line, leaving Diego Forlan and Co. to claim victory by a two goal margin.

The win puts Oscar Tabarez's team into the final for the first time since the 1999. It will play the winner of Paraguay-Venezuela this Sunday in the Monumental.

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