Luis Suarez scored a first-half stoppage time equalizer as Uruguay rallied for a 1-1 draw against Peru on Monday in the opening match in Group C at the Copa America.
Paolo Guerrero gave Peru a 1-0 lead in the 24th, a surprising start for a team playing without its top two forwards, both out injured.
Uruguay is the pick of some pundits to win the Copa America, ahead of Brazil and Argentina. Uruguay reached the World Cup semifinals a year ago and is fielding much the same team in the South American championship.
Peru stunned Uruguay, opening the scoring when lone striker Guerrero received a long, well-placed pass between two defenders from Michael Guevara in midfield, moved in alone and then stepped around Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera before slotting home the goal.
Peru had to rely heavily on counterattack after starting without leading forwards Jefferson Farfan and Claudio Pizarro. The team’s top midfielder, Juan Vargas, also has nagging injuries, but came on in the second half.
But the goal seemed to wake up Uruguay, with Diego Forlan forcing Peru keeper Fernandez Valverde into two diving saves before Suarez leveled the score with a shot at full stretch from six yards.
Both teams had chances in the second half. Forlan was in good position, alone in the 76th when he fired over the crossbar. Guerrero headed the ball just wide of the near post in the final minute.
"I had a chance to make it 2-1, and when you don’t take advantage of opportunities things get more difficult," Forlan said.
No team has scored more than one goal in the first five matches of the Copa America, with Argentina and Brazil struggling in their opening draws.
"It’s very even," Forlan said of the tournament. "There are some good teams here."
Uruguay plays Chile on Friday, when Peru faces Mexico.
Uruguay: Fernando Muslera, Maxi Pereira, Diego Lugano, Mauricio Victorino, Martin Caceres, Diego Perez, Egidio Arevalo Rios, Nicolas Lodeiro (Cristian Rodriguez, 78), Edinson Cavani (Abel Hernandez, 78), Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez.
Peru: Raul Fernandez, Renzo Revoredo, Santiago Acasiete, Alberto Rodriguez, Walter Vilchez, Michael Guevara (Carlos Lobaton, 57), Adan Balbin, Rinaldo Cruzado, Yoshimar Yotun (Juan Vargas, 59), Luis Advincula (William Chiroque, 90), Paolo Guerrero.