RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 22: Edinson Cavani of Uruguay looks on during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between Mexico and Uruguay at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Peru: Another Heavy Favorite Forced To Settle For Draw

Edinson Cavani and Uruguay are heavy favorites in Monday's Copa America 2011 match...just like Argentina and Brazil. Surely they won't fall victim to a draw as well?

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Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Peru: This Time Peru Gets Surprising Draw

Argentina and Brazil were the first heavy favorites to be forced to settle for a draw in their opening matches of Copa America, but they weren't the last. Uruguay, widely expected to have no problem with a Peru team that has historically been one of the worst in South America, was also drawn in their opening Copa America match after coming back from a 1-0 deficit to tie at one apiece. Peru joined Bolivia and Venezuela before them in picking up shock draws in a tournament that has now seen draws in four of its first five matches.

Uruguay got off to a slow start and were made to pay for it in the 23rd minute when Paolo Guerrero put them behind. As was the case for most of the beginning of the match Uruguay knocked the ball around without much of a problem, but they were too narrow so when they got into the attacking third they had nowhere to go and gave the ball away. This time, Peru made them pay for it when they quickly turned into the attack with one long ball over the top. With Uruguay's defense playing a very high line and looking to the linesman for offside, Guerrero was running onto the pass over the top. He gathered, had no problem rounding the keeper and finished to put the underdogs ahead, 1-0.

The goal seemed to wake Uruguay up as they turned on the pressure right after. A dangerous free kick almost turned into an own goal when it was deflected just wide of the post. Two other chances were blocked in front and Diego Forlan's free kick from 30 yards that looked like a sure goal was stopped by a fantastic Raul Fernandez save.

On the last play before halftime though, Fernandez had no chance of stopping Luis Suarez. The Peru back line lost the shape and organization that had kept Uruguay scoreless to that point and Suarez was kept onside so when a little pass was played through to him, he was in alone on goal. He calmly finished and Uruguay had themselves level at halftime.

With the way that Uruguay finished the first half it seemed like they would go on to plow through Peru in the second half, but that was hardly the case. Not only did Uruguay not dominate Peru, but Peru actually got better in the second 45 minutes and the match began to even out. Both side had a few half chances, but nothing golden and Uruguay had to settle for their disappointing draw, while Peru's boisterous fans late on in the match signaled just how happy Peru were to have their point.

Both Uruguay and Peru sit on one point after one match in Group C play with Chile and Mexico, the two other teams in the group, yet to play. Uruguay will return to action on July 8 when they face off against Chile in Mendoza, Argentina, while Peru will take on Mexico, also on July 8 in Mendoza.

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Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Peru: Uruguay Comes Back To Level At Halftime

For a while it looked like Copa America might have itself another shocker. Argentina and Brazil had already been drawn in the tournament, but Uruguay was going to do them one better in getting beaten by Peru. That's what it looked like after Paolo Guerrero scored for Peru to go ahead 1-0, but a Luis Suarez goal on the final play of the first half has leveled things to put the talk of upset on hold for just a bit.

It wasn't the brightest of starts for Uruguay. Their trio of forwards, Diego Forlan, Edinson Cavani and Suarez, all struggled to get going. Their 4-3-3 formation got too narrow, making it too easy for the five-man Peru backline to defend. Uruguay's midfield also struggled to make an impact, forcing Forlan to drop far too deep to see the ball.

With Uruguay struggling to do much with their possession in the final third, Peru looked comfortable and after 23 minutes they had every reason to feel exceedingly comfortable. One again Uruguay gave the ball away in the attacking half and Peru countered quickly with a long ball over the top of the Uruguay backline. WIth the defense looking for an offisde call, Guerrero was running onto the ball, sidestepped the goalkeeper and finishing to put Peru ahead, 1-0.

Following Guerrero's goal, Uruguay began to find their rhythm. The midfield improved and their forwards were able to get touches much closer to goal. Twice defenders made key blocks to keep shots from leveling and Raul Fernandez made a spectacular save on a Diego Forlan rifle of a free kick to keep Peru in front.

Fernandez couldn't do anything about Suarez's goal though. The Peru backline that had been so organized was all over the place and kept Suarez onside as he made a run from just outside the 18-yard box. He gathered a good pass just 15 yards from the goal and calmly finished past a helpless Fernandez to level just seconds before the referee blew his whistle for the end of the first half.

Now back even, Uruguay is back to being the favorites just a goal away from victory. They've been the better team and with the midfield beginning to grab a hold of the match they are in a good position to play a strong second half to grab three points. If they can do what they did in the final 20 minutes of the half and get their forwards the ball somewhere in the vicinity of the goal, they will make another mark on the scoreboard.

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Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Peru: Luis Suarez Equalizes Just Before Halftime

Maybe there won't be another Copa America shocker. The tournament that has been defined by its surprises in the early going looked like it might have another one when Paolo Guerrero put Peru up on Uruguay in the 23rd minute, but in the last play before halftime Luis Suarez has scored to level the match at 1-1. Now the Peruvian upset looks far less likely and Uruguay head into the second half with all of the momentum.

Following Guerrero's goal, Uruguay's attack found its stride and continually threatened Peru. It finally paid off on the final play before halftime when Suarez was played alone in on goal. The Peru five-man backline that had been so organized, if not always clean, in the first 45 minutes, lost its shape on the play. Suarez was kept onside so when the ball was slid into him he was alone in on Raul Fernandez, who has no chance. With Fernandez helpless, Suarez slid the ball in and got Uruguay the key equalizer to the delight of a pro-Uruguay crowd in San Juan, Argentina.

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Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Peru: Paolo Guerrero Puts Underdogs In Front

The tournament of surprises just keeps bringing them. After Argentina and Brazil each could only manage draws in their Copa America openers, Uruguay is trying to top them with a loss. Peru, who entered as big underdogs to Uruguay, have struck in the 23rd minute through Paolo Guerrero to go on top and set the stage for yet another Copa America shocker.

Uruguay had the better of possession in the early going, but hadn't really threatened the Peruvian goal. After they gave the ball away in the attacking half, Peru quickly counter-attacker. They played a long ball over the top and Guerrero beat Uruguay's offside trap. With the defense looking to the linesman, Guerrero was running onto the long pass and was in alone with just the goalkeeper to beat. He had no trouble sidestepping the keeper before finishing into the open net and Peru had themselves a 1-0 lead.

For Uruguay, they are going to need better play from their midfield. Diego Forlan is dropping far too deep just to see the ball. Luis Suarez has barely seen the ball at all and when Edinson Cavani has seen it, it has been out wide where has has struggled to make an impact. Meanwhile Peru has been disciplined. They're playing with five at the back and now that they have a goal, that defensive posture is perfect to suffocate the Uruguay attack if they can continue to neutralize the midfield.

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Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Peru: Hold Onto Your Hats, World, Edinson Cavani Is Coming

Uruguay caught the attention of many around the world with their run to the World Cup semifinalists a year ago in South Africa. Led by Diego Forlan, the Uruguayans were fantastic. Forlan won the Golden Ball and Luis Suarez showed the world why he was so highly thought of in the Netherlands. For Forlan, the tournament erased any doubts people may have had about him after his disastrous time with Manchester United, while Suarez eventually earned himself a moved to famed Liverpool. In all of the excitement surrounding Forlan and Suarez though, one other stupendous forward went largely unnoticed.

Edinson Cacani has never been someone to overlook. In the two years before the World Cup, Cavani scored a total of 20 goals in Serie A for Palermo. He never quite made his mark internationally though. After the World Cup though, he caught fire. Since the tournament he's scored six goals for Uruguay. At the same time, he took his play for his club, now Napoli, to a whole other level. He scored 33 times last season to help lead Napoli to a UEFA Champions League place.

It was a dream season for Cavani to move himself into rarified air. No longer is he mentioned as an afterthought to Forlan and Suarez when discussing Uruguay. Now he's not only being mentioned as possibly Uruguay's most dangerous player, but one of the most dangerous strikers anywhere in the world.

At 6'2'' Cavani is plenty big. He adds strength to his big frame and has no problem shoving aside defenders or rising up to finish in the air. He also move extremely well for someone his size and his confidence is second-to-none. It would be impossible to put together a highlight for last season's goals of the year without an appearance from Cavani, who is only able to pull off such spectacular goals because of an amazing confidence that he can score from anywhere in any situation.

An afterthought just a year ago, Cavani is now one of Uruguay's leading men. With the Champions League awaiting him it won't be long before everyone sees and knows just what a tremendous player Cavani is, but now that Copa America is getting ready to kick off, they might just find that out a little earlier.

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Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Peru: Lineups

The first of two Copa America Group C matches on Monday appears to be a walk in the park for Uruguay, but the same was said of Argentina and Brazil earlier in the tournament and those two could only manage draws. Even so, betting on last year's World Cup semifinalists to dispose of Peru is probably pretty safe. With kickoff set for 6:15 pm ET, the Peruvians have just a little more time to be joint top of the group before what is expected to be another disappointing competition for the team that may be South America's worst.

To try and get any sort of result against Uruguay, Peru are going with a five-man backline. It's not a five-man backline with wing backs who will fly forward whenever they get the chance either. This is a purely defensive formation. The Peruvians are going defensive for good reason too. Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani are the most dangerous trio of forwards any team in Copa America can offer and with the young, but amazingly talented Nicolas Loderio behind them, the Uruguayans are expected to pour on the pressure against what appears to be an outmatched Peru team.

Uruguay (4-3-3): Fernando Muslera; Cristian Rodríguez, Mauricio Victorino, Diego Lugano, Martin Cáceres; Diego Pérez, Egidio Arévalo, Nicolas Lodeiro; Luis Suárez, Diego Forlán, Edinson Cavani

Peru (5-3-2): Raul Fernandez; Walter Vilchez, Santiano Acasiete, Renzo Revoredo, Alberto Rodriguez, Victor Yotun; Adan Balbin, Michael Guevara, Josepmir Ballon; Paolo Guerrero, Luis Advincula

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Copa America 2011: Uruguay Vs. Peru

In 2007, Copa America was absolutely thrilling from start to finish. Argentina and Brazil were challenged, but they ultimately showed off their fantastic quality to get through to the final. So far, the 2011 edition of Copa America hasn't resembled that at all. Argentina were stunned by Bolivia in the opening match and all three other games have been absolute snoozers, with Brazil drawing Venezuela 0-0 yesterday in a poor match. Surely Uruguay can save us from our misery today?

Arguably the most entertaining team at the 2010 World Cup, Uruguay open their Copa America campaign against a Peru team that is missing their two best attacking players, Jefferson Farfan and Claudio Pizarro. If this game resembles the first three, there is truly no order to the world of international football.

Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan, and Luiz Suarez are all healthy by all accounts. Which means that Uruguay can't be shut out by Peru on Monday, right? Right?!? RIGHT?!?!?

Please save us from this boring football hell, Uruguay.

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