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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