Copa-Peru shock Uruguay in tournament opener

Updated: June 26, 2007, 8:33 PM ET
Reuters

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MERIDA, Venezuela, June 26 - Peru pulled off a shock 3-0 victory over Uruguay in the opening game of the Copa America on Tuesday.

Miguel Villalta, Juan Carlos Marino and Paolo Guerrero were on target for Peru in the Group A match against the 14-times tournament winners.

Hosts Venezuela take in Bolivia in the group's other match later on Tuesday with Brazil and Argentina favourites for the title.

Peru went ahead in the 27th minute when, from a short corner, Jefferson Farfan whipped in a cross from the left and defender Villalta lost his marker and rose at the back post to power home a close-range header.

The confident Peruvians thought they had a second five minutes later when Guerrero slotted home but Paraguayan referee Carlos Amarilla ruled out the effort for offside.

A sluggish Uruguay produced their first real effort on goal just before the break when Fabian Estoyanoff, in for the injured Alvaro Recoba, unleashed a fierce, dipping drive from nearly 30 metres out and Peru keeper Leao Butron did well to tip the shot over the bar.

Cristian Rodriguez replaced Fabian Canobbio for Uruguay at the break and he made an instant impact going close to an equaliser just two minutes after the restart with an acrobatic shot which Butron did well to keep out.

Peru though continued to present danger to the Uruguayan defence, Guerrero breaking down the right and a sliding Claudio Pizarro was just inches away from potentially profitable contact at the back post.

It was from a similar approach that Peru doubled their advantage. Juan Carlos Marino bursting down the right channel but instead of crossing he blasted a shot into the top corner of Fabian Carini's near post, the surprise element as much as the raw power beating the Uruguay keeper.

Guerrero wrapped up a thoroughly deserved victory with a straightfoward tap-in after good work from Andres Mendoza.

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