International friendly wrap: Uruguay beat Dutch on penalties

Uruguay defeated the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties to claim the Copa Confraternidad after a 1-1 draw in Montevideo.A rematch of the 2010 World Cup semi-final, which the Netherlands won 3-2, the international served as a warm-up for Uruguay ahead of next month’s Copa America in Argentina.

It looked like the hosts would gain revenge for their defeat in South Africa when Liverpool striker Luis Suarez put Uruguay 1-0 ahead with just eight minutes remaining at Estadio Centenario.

Suarez was the beneficiary of an excellent individual run by Edinson Cavani – the Napoli centre-forward broke into the Netherlands’ penalty area, reached the by-line and found Suarez with his cutback.

Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul might have done better, but was unsighted, allowing Suarez’s low shot straight through and into the net.

Undeterred, the European visitors equalised in the 90th minute courtesy of another Liverpool forward, Dirk Kuyt.

Evading his man from a corner, Kuyt’s near-post header flashed past Lazio goalkeeper Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal, levelling the scores at 1-1 and sending the match to penalties.

Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie set the tone for the Netherlands, blazing his penalty high over the bar.

And while Nicolas Lodeiro also missed to keep the visitors in the hunt, a tame effort from Hamburg forward Eljero Elia handed victory to Uruguay.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, China extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a 2-0 win over North Korea.

With the start of World Cup qualifying only a month away, Wednesday’s match in Guizhou was a chance for both sides to fine tune their preparations.

But it was China who will take the most positives out of the match after two goals in the space of three minutes just before half-time secured a comfortable victory.

Midfielder Deng Zhuoxiang opened the scoring in the 38th minute, latching on to a cross from Gao Lin to stroke the ball past North Korean goalkeeper Ri Myong Guk.

Three minutes later it was striker Gao’s turn to get his name on the scoresheet, nodding home a Yu Hai cross to double China’s lead.

North Korea, who will receive automatic entry into the third round of World Cup qualifying, failed to stretch the Chinese defence in the second half.

Striker Jong Il Gwan’s shot against the crossbar was almost the only danger posed by the visitors.

China begin their World Cup qualifying campaign against either Cambodia or Laos on July 23.

 


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