Peru Crush Uruguay as Hosts Draw

Peru kicked off their Copa America campaign by thumping Uruguay 3-0 in Group A on Tuesday (local time).

Miguel Villanta, Juan Carlos Marino and Paolo Guerrero were on target in the Metropolitano Stadium as Peru shocked their opponents, considered by many as dark horses for the prestigious tournament.

In Tuesday's second Group A matchup, Bolivia twice came from behind to spoil host Venezuela's opening celebrations in a 2-2 draw.

"These players are starting to change the course of Peruvian soccer," Peru coach Julio Cesar said.

"But we need to keep displaying the same professionalism and keep things simple. We have won an important game but there is still plenty of work to do.

"I am convinced that my team can play a lot better."

The Uruguayans, missing Alvaro Recoba after the Internazionale forward was ruled out with a muscle problem, came out with more spark.

But it was the Incas who struck first as defender Miguel Villanta powered home a header from Juan Carlos Marino's corner after 26 minutes to give the Peruvians a narrow half-time lead.

Manager Oscar Tabarez brought on Diego Rodriguez and Sebastian Abreu during the interval in a bid to make Uruguay more of an attacking threat and the duo combined after 66 minutes to hand the former a great chance to level, only for Rodriguez to waste the opening.

Marino doubled the lead three minutes later with a beautiful long-range strike. And two minutes from the end, Uruguay were hit on the counter as they desperately searched for a way back into the contest.

Julio Cesar Uribe led the breakaway before setting up Hamburg forward Paolo Guerrero to put the result beyond any doubt.

"Peru were clearly the better side," Tabarez said.

Argentine legend Diego Armando Maradona, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and Bolivia President Evo Morales helped kicked off the tournament in front of a crowd of 43,000 who attended the Venezuela and Bolivia match at the Pueblo Nuevo stadium in San Cristobal.

But it was the Bolivians who had the last word as Juan Carlos Arce silenced the crowd with a second equaliser seven minutes from the end.

Source FIFA

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