Three dead-ball assists from the Inter Milan forward earned three points for his side as they exploited the visitors' dreadful marking in Montevideo
Diego Forlan's delivery was the deciding factor as the Inter Milan forward played a part in three of his side's four goals.
Uruguay wasted no time, taking the lead in the third minute. Forlan’s in-swinging corner fell to Luis Suarez via Diego Lugano. The Liverpool striker took one deft touch to set the ball up and his second was to half-volley it, on the turn, into the back of the net.
The Centenario was silenced in the 18th minute when, against the run of play, Bolivia equalised through Rudy Cardozo. Jaime Robles played a slick ball into Cardozo, who beat Fernando Muslera to the ball and dinked it over the keeper to level the scores.
Walter Flores then gave away a cheap free kick in the centre of his side’s half in the 25th minute and Forlan produced a scintillating delivery which Diego Lugano connected with. The Paris Saint-Germain defender was free in the area and got up well to power his header into the top corner.
Uruguay made it three just after the half hour mark. Diego Godin did well to win the ball back in the final third. He fed Maxi whose pinpoint delivery was met by the head of Edinson Cavani to give Uruguay a comfortable lead.
Arias pulled off a fantastic save at close quarters following Forlan’s header, ensuring Bolivia went into the break still in reach of the Uruguayans.
The hosts seemed to ease off in the second half. They created a few chances but lacked the conviction that they had in the first half.
Once again it was a set-piece that let the Bolivian’s down. Arias failed to collect Forlan’s delivery and Lugano stole the loose ball from Godin and poked into an empty net.
Uruguay sat back and allowed Bolivia some possession. Marcelo Martins forced a save from Muslera with a strong header after some good work by Cardozo down the left.
The Shakhtar striker eventually got his goal when Alcides Pena jinked between Martin Caceres and Arevalo Rios with the former bringing him down in the area. Martins was not put off by the chorus of whistles, dispatching his penalty straight down the middle.
It was no more than a consolation for the visitors, whose poor defending was ultimately to blame for their loss. Uruguay exploited their opponents' weakness and comfortably won the game to take all three points.