Chile have picked up just a second win of the Copa America tournament, while Uruguay became the latest favourite to be held to a draw.In a Group C double-header at Mendoza’s Estadio del Bicentenario, Peru frustrated Uruguay into a 1-1 stalemate – the fourth draw in six completed games at the tournament in Argentina – while Chile’s class helped them overcome Mexico 2-1.
Despite Uruguay’s much-vaunted front three of Napoli’s Edinson Cavani, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Forlan, Peru’s well-organised defence enjoyed the better of the early going.
After a lively opening, it was Peru who drew first blood when Paolo Guerrero was picked out by a great ball from Michael Guevara on 25 minutes.
The Hamburg striker coolly rounded Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera before slotting into an empty net.
Uruguay – the third-favourite nation behind Argentina and Brazil – began to wrest control late in the half and could have been back on level terms when Forlan launched a vicious swerving free-kick towards goal five minutes before half-time, but Peru goalkeeper Raul Fernandez performed an acrobatic save.
They did not have to wait long to equalise, however, and Suarez fired home on the stroke of half-time after a neat turn and pass from Ajax midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro.
The second half was a pulsating affair, with both sides having chances to take away three points as things became willing.
Guerrero had a great chance to seal a win for Peru in the 90th minute, but the 27-year-old put his close-range header wide of the mark.
In the later game, Chile showed their quality but needed to come from behind against a stubborn Mexico side.
Just six of the faces that helped their nation lift the Gold Cup on June 25 were included in Mexico’s largely Under-22 squad, with five overage players and only two who boasted more than 10 caps.
It showed as Chile dominated large sections of the game, with Barcelona target Alexis Sanchez busy and Sporting Lisbon midfield Matias Fernandez the hub of his side’s attacking moves.
Fernandez went close from a free kick and then open play, while team-mate Humberto Suazo was only thwarted in his hunt for a goal by some agile goalkeeper from Mexico’s Luis Ernesto Michel on 30 minutes.
The half appeared destined to end scoreless despite Chile’s domination, until 19-year-old defender Nestor Araujo threaded a header beyond Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after Giovani dos Santos’ ball was flicked on in the area.
The goal failed to shake Chile, however, and they pulled level 22 minutes into the second half when substitute Esteban Paredes prodded home from close range.
They then finally made their domination count when Fernandez’s corner was headed into the net by Arturo Vidal, though Bravo was needed to keep the score at 2-1 when he blocked Edgar Pacheco’s effort shortly before the final whistle.