Copa América - Uruguay see off Peru to reach final

Wed, 20 Jul 03:58:00 2011

A Luis Suarez brace saw Uruguay pick up a 2-0 win over Peru in La Plata and reach the final of the Copa America.

Copa América - Uruguay reach Copa final

Two second half strikes from Suarez were enough to see off the challenge of Peru who ended up with 10 men after their captain Juan Vargas saw a straight red card.

The match was only ever going to be a hard-fought one and these suspicions were confirmed when in the first minute Yoshimar Yotun went in hard and late on Maxi Pereira and immediately picked up a booking.

The first half lacked many clear-cut chances, the first effort on target came from Peru's Yotun who produced a well-hit drive from all of 35 yards; the sheer distance on the shot meant Fernando Muslera had plenty of time to get everything behind it.

Alvaro Pereira came close 16 minutes in as a long throw caused some confusion in the Peru penalty area. It bounced over a couple of defenders and Pereira arrived from the left wing to turn it towards goal, but Raul Fernandez stood up well and made the block.

Uruguay made sure they were not behind for long in the card count as Walter Gargano and then Suarez picked up bookings for late tackles.

Peru's best moments came when Vargas was on the ball and he nearly set up an opening goal for his team as he easily beat Diego Lugano on the left-wing and put in a dangerous cross but neither Paulo Guerrero nor Luis Advincula could quite get on the end of it.

Uruguay did actually get the ball in the back of the net before the break as Diego Forlan swung in a free-kick from the left which Lugano flicked on to find Alvaro Pereira at the back post who bundled it in past Fernandez.

Unfortunately for the 14-times champions Pereira had moved too quickly and when Lugano headed it he had strayed offside.

The half-time interval did not seem to make much difference to the pattern of play, but then out of nowhere Uruguay took the lead on 53 minutes.

A poor free-kick from inside their own penalty box saw Peru concede possession to Forlan, who hit a well-struck shot from 25-yards which was well saved but there was Suarez following in the shot and he converted from a tight angle after the Fernandez parry.

Peru were rocked by the goal and just five minutes later their situation worsened when Suarez doubled his tally.

Alvaro Pereira picked up the ball inside his own half and saw Peru were playing an extremely high line with Suarez making a run off the shoulder of the last defender.

Pereira picked the weight perfectly and the pace of Suarez saw him race clear of the defence. Fernandez came flying out of his goal but the Liverpool forward rounded him easily and slotted it into the empty net.

With Peru having barely threatened and now two goals down it looked bad for them and it got even worse 10 minutes later when their captain Vargas received his marching orders.

Sebastien Coates got close to Vargas from behind and the Fiorentina man reacted ridiculously, swinging an elbow back in to the chin of Coates right in front of the referee who had no choice but to produce the red card and send him on his way.

The 10 men of Peru kept plugging away and produced decent chances through Walter Vilchez and Guerrero but the match had gone for them long before.

Uruguay came close to extending their lead through substitute Abel Hernandez but they were under no pressure to do so and were comfortable as they closed the game out.

The 14-times champions move on to the final and will face either Paraguay or Venezuela in four days time.

Phil Haigh / Eurosport

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