Led by Abel Hernandez’s first-half hat-trick, Uruguay downed Tahiti 8-0 to advance to the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-finals as the second-placed team from Group B.
Luis Suarez also continued his duel with Diego Forlan as his late brace saw him become Uruguay's all-time top scorer ahead of La Celeste's No10.
Hernandez opened the scoring in the second minute, notching the second-fastest goal in the FIFA Confederations Cup as he got his name on the score sheet after one minute, 19 seconds.
Hernandez scored his second goal in the 24th minute to double Uruguay’s lead. After getting around the last defender with a deft touch, Hernandez calmly slotted the ball past Gilbert Meriel. Three minutes later Uruguay added a third when Diego Perez followed up his initial effort that hit the post and tapped the ball into an empty net.
Tahiti’s best chance of the half came in the 40th minute after a quick counter-attack led by Steevy Chong Hue. The Tahiti striker beat goalkeeper Martin Silva but his last touch let him down as the ball crossed the byline before Chong Hue could catch up to it.
Hernandez then completed his first-half hat-trick on the 45-minute mark with a well-placed shot into the bottom corner.
Four minutes after the restart, Nicolas Vallar was cautioned for pulling down Matias Aguirregaray inside Tahiti’s area, but the Arena Pernambuco erupted into applause when Meriel stopped Andres Scotti’s penalty with a brilliant diving save.
Scotti received his second caution shortly after, sending him to the dressing room 40 minutes earlier than planned. Tahiti then enjoyed a little more of the ball with the extra-man advantage, but they were unable to find a way past Uruguay’s defence.
Tahiti’s numerical advantage was short-lived as it was Teheivarii Ludivion’s turn to pick-up his second yellow card just before the hour mark. With both sides playing with ten men, Perez capitalised on the openings in Tahiti’s defence and slotted a ball to Nicolas Lodeiro who tapped in for Uruguay’s fifth goal.
Uruguay were awarded a second penalty kick in the 66th minute and Meriel wasn’t able to produce another save as Hernandez grabbed his fourth goal of the match. Substitute Luis Suarez added a brace in the final minutes, to go past Diego Forlan in Uruguay’s all-time scoring charts,
Tahiti head home with no points, but having won plenty of hearts and the final whistle saw their squad drape Brazilian flags over their shoulders and wave goodbye to the crowd.
Uruguay progress to a semi-final against the hosts, a South American showdown which will surely raise the roof in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday.