The record winners of the Copa America title, Uruguay, opened their Group C account of the 2019 Copa America competition with a convincing 4 – 0 thrashing of Ecuador in the group’s opening game. Uruguay boasts of a star-studded squad which includes the likes of the formidable striking pair of PSG’s Edinson Cavani and Barcelona’s Luis Suarez.
Both strikers got on the scorer’s sheet against Ecuador, as they lead their country in superb style to beat a 10-man Ecuador side, who struggled in almost all aspects of the game.
Uruguay have won the Copa America title 15 times – a record which is closely followed by 14-times winner Argentina, who lost their opening match to Columbia. However, with a resounding victory for Uruguay, and if their confident display is an indication of what is to follow; then it means Uruguay are aiming to win the tournament for the 16th time.
The match which was the first from Group C, was played at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte saw Uruguay start the brightest of the two sides. As early as the 6th minute, Uruguay’s Nicolas Lodeiro exhibited great control and trickery to guide his ball superbly and shoot past Ecuador’s Alexander Dominguez in goal.
The 1 – 0 lead put Uruguay in a good stead to push forward and attack in confidence. In the 24th minute, luck smiled further on them as Ecuador was reduced to 10-men following a red card to Jose Quintero.
Quintero was penalized for an elbow and was initially shown a yellow card. However, the punishment was upgraded to a straight red card, following the referee’s VAR session consultation. From that moment, Uruguay made their numeric advantage count; as they piled the pressure and pushed forward to get their second goal on the night.
The second goal for Uruguay came off the legs of the brilliant Edinson Cavani, in a sensational overhead bicycle kick, which left the Ecuador keeper with no chance whatsoever. Luis Suarez wasn’t left out of the show however; as the Barcelona forward tapped in the third goal and his 57th for Uruguay in the 44th minute to put the game well beyond the Ecuadorians.
The goal for Luis Suarez pushed him further away from team-mate Edinson Cavani who is on 47 goals and confirms Suarez’s status as Uruguay’s all-time highest goal scorer.
With Uruguay already 3 – 0 up, by half-time, and having the numerical advantage over their opponents, it pretty much seemed like the second half would witness a barrage of goals. However, that wasn’t the case, as Uruguay took things a bit easy in the second 45 minutes. However, there was still time for one more goal, and it came of the boots of Ecuador’s Arturo Mina for an own-goal.
The bizarre own-goal came in the form of a volley which was quite unexpected for the player, his goal keeper and even the opposition team.
At the end, Uruguay walked away with a comfortable 4 – 0 victory against an Ecuador side, that will go back wondering how it all went terribly bad for them on the day.
The Ecuador coach Hernan Gomez did elucidate quite clearly, that the red card to his team affected and apparently disorganized his side; and that this team were not as bad as the score suggested. As much as I may sympathize and agree with the Ecuador coach, I do reckon they would have to put up better performances against the other teams – Japan and Chile in group C, if they are to progress further in the competition.
Meanwhile, in the second Group B fixture between Paraguay and guest team Qatar, the South Americans wasted a 2 goal lead to allow Qatar draw the match 2 – 2. With Monday being a rest day in the competition, the competing teams will have the day off in order to revisit tactics or game plans and re-strategize for their next set of games.
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