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Copa America

  • July 24, 2011
  • • 3:00 PM
  • • Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Capital Federal, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
  • Referee: Salvio Spinola Fagundes Filho

Uruguay 3-0 Paraguay: Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez give Celeste record 15th Copa America title

Uruguay 3-0 Paraguay: Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez give Celeste record 15th Copa America title

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The dream duo was on the top of their game once again as Oscar Tabarez's men made short work of their opponents in a fairly one-sided final

Updated: 12:07 a.m. ET

Uruguay has won its first Copa America since 1995 after a comprehensive 3-0 win in the final over a toothless Paraguay at the Monumental in Buenos Aires.

La Celeste hit Gerardo Martino's side with a first-half double salvo, courtesy of strikers Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan. The Atletico Madrid man completed his brace moments before the final whistle to ensure Uruguay's triumph for a record 15th time, one ahead now of its bitter rival Argentina.

Forlan believes that La Celeste's win was a result of its aggressive play early on.

"It was a complicated match, we knew it, but the team played well. The goals and the way Uruguay started out, helped us," the most capped active Uruguayan player said.

Oscar Tabarez' men made their intentions known right from the start as shortly after the opening whistle Suarez nearly forced a goal with a shot from inside the six-yard box, but the ball hit the side netting.

Controversy ensued moments later when Diego Lugano powered a header from inside the penalty area, and Nestor Ortigoza stopped the ball with his hand only for the referee to wave play on, evoking protests from the Uruguayan camp.

Justice was served in the 11th minute when Suarez made his way down the right flank and unleashed a stinging shot, which deflected off Dario Veron before trickling into the left corner and past the goal line.

The game became scrappy as emotions were getting the better of the players. In the space of 18 minutes, the referee showed no less than four yellow cards in an effort to prevent further offense from both teams. Saurez said, despite the scoreline, Paraguay gave his team a hard fought match.

"We knew Paraguay were a tough opponent but the important thing was that we started the first half well, we scored twice and that was crucial," said Suarez. "It was hard for them to make a comeback,"

Uruguay had a wonderful chance to double its lead near the half-hour mark when Suarez released Forlan with an excellent through-ball, but the Atletico striker was denied by Justo Villar in a one-on-one.

Minutes before halftime, Uruguay did get its second goal. Egidio Arevalo stole the ball in midfield, and found the unmarked Forlan, who made no mistake this time as he powered a scintillating finish in the right corner to double la Celeste's lead.

Paraguay tried to claw a goal back after the restart, but was struggling to bypass Uruguay's resilient defense and midfield.

Gerardo Martino's men were leaving plenty of open spaces, and la Celeste nearly capitalized in the 55th minute when Suarez threaded a pass for Forlan near the penalty spot, but Veron made a vital interception and deflected the shot.

Just before the hour mark, Paraguay went close to scoring when Nelson Valdez's powerful drive from outside the box was tipped onto the bar by the flying Nelson Muslera.

The Hercules striker had another chance moments later when Cristian Riveros found him with a very good ball from the right wing, but the striker failed to convert from close range.

Substitute Edinson Cavani forced a wonder save from Villar with 11 minutes to go as Oscar Tabarez' men were growing increasingly dangerous on the counter.

Forlan completed his brace with a superb finish in injury time, following a pass from Suarez, to seal Uruguay record 15th Copa America and send Uruguay's fans into raptures.

"We are happy, for all of Uruguay, for everyone, to celebrate,"
said Forlan.

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