THE DAY REPLAYED – Group C restored some excitement to the 2011 Copa America following Sunday’s goal drought. In the surprise result of the day, a strongly fancied Uruguay side made the same false start as tournament favourites Argentina and Brazil before them, playing out a 1-1 draw with Peru. In the second game of the evening, Chile reacted just in time against Mexico, coming from behind to record their first win over El Tri in the competition.
Chances go begging
Uruguay and Peru both had gilt-edged opportunities to collect maximum points in San Juan. The top scorer at South Africa 2010, Diego Forlan fired well over when put clean through midway through the second half, while Peru’s goalscorer Paolo Guerrero inexplicably nodded wide with the goal at his mercy in the final minute.
Borghi on the button
Claudio Borghi rang the changes to great effect in his first official game in charge of Chile. With his side still trailing after an hour’s play, he sent Esteban Paredes on for Jean Beausejour and looked on with satisfaction as the substitute poked home from close range six minutes later. The comeback was completed shortly afterwards, when Arturo Vidal’s firm header made it a perfect start for the new Roja coach.
A familiar sound
The Chile fans brought back memories of South Africa 2010 on a decidedly cool evening at the Estadio Bicentenario in San Juan, blowing hard on their vuvuzelas to inspire their heroes to victory over Mexico.
Goal of the day
Uruguay-Peru, Paolo Guerrero '23
Collecting a loose ball from a Uruguay corner, Michael Guevara fired a long driven pass into the feet of Paolo Guerrero, who sprinted clear of his markers before rounding Muslera with ease and rolling the ball into an empty net. Curiously, Guerrero was also on the scoresheet when the two teams met in their opening group match at the last Copa America. Claudio Pizarro and Jefferson Farfan might be out of action, but with the Hamburg man up front, Peru can still pack a punch.
Alexis Sanchez (Chile)
The Udinese forward showed why he is in such demand in Europe by unveiling his full repertoire of feints and dribbles and leading Chile’s revival against the Mexicans. “We knew that if we kept our cool in the second half we could turn it around,” said Sanchez afterwards.
What they said
“Why have there been so many draws? Well, the game’s more about systems these days. Teams don’t leave much space and they work hard at the back. It’s more difficult to score goals, but let’s hope they start to come soon,” Peru left-back Juan Vargas explains the shortage of goals so far at the Copa America.
Group A swings back into action on Wednesday when Argentina will go in search of their first win against early section leaders Colombia in Santa Fe. Bolivia and Costa Rica, the other two teams in the pool, meet on Thursday in Jujuy.