Uruguay beats Peru to reach Copa America final

BY foxsports • July 20, 2011

Luis Suarez scored in the 53rd and 58th minutes to lead Uruguay past Peru 2-0 on Tuesday night and into the Copa America final.

Uruguay, which reached the semifinals of last year's World Cup, will be looking for a record 15th Copa America title in Sunday's final against either Paraguay or Venezuela, which meet in the other semifinal Wednesday in Mendoza. The final will be Sunday in Buenos Aires.

Peru, which was the worst team in South American World Cup qualifying just a year ago, has been one of the surprises of the South American championship and has played without its top two forwards, Jefferson Farfan and Claudio Pizarro.

Suarez added some spark after a disappointing first half of few chances and little sustained possession.

Diego Forlan set up the first goal in the 53rd, taking a long, low shot that Peru keeper Raul Fernandez dived to his left to save. But Suarez swarmed on the rebound and sent the ball into the open net from a sharp angle with Fernandez sprawled on the ground.

Suarez struck again 5 minutes later when he took a pass near midfield that split two defenders, then broke for the goal. When Fernandez came out to stop him, he stepped around to his right and rolled the ball into an open net.

Peru's Juan Vargas was shown a red card in the 69th minute.

Peru had its best scoring chance in the 84th when Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera leaped high to stop Paolo Guerrero's long shot. The ball slipped from Muslera's hand, but he covered up quickly just inches from the goal line.

Uruguay, tied with Argentina with 14 Copa America titles, won its last Copa trophy in 1995. It was the runner-up in 1999, losing to Brazil, which had won four of the last five Copa America titles entering this tournament.

Uruguay is fielding nearly the same team it did a year ago, when it also went farther in the World Cup than South America's two giants.

Brazil and Argentina both lost on penalties in the Copa America quarterfinals. Brazil lost to Paraguay and Argentina went down against Uruguay.

Chile, which had been the best team in the group stage, was upset by Venezuela 2-1 in the quarterfinals.