SINSHEIM, GERMANY - MAY 29: Diego Forlan of Uruguay hits a corner during the international friendly charity match between Germany and Uruguay on May 29, 2011 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by Thorsten Wagner/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Chile: Uruguay Holds Off Chile Late For 1-1 Draw

A late onslaught by Chile forced Uruguay to hold on tight and lean heavily on goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to get earn themselves a point

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Copa America 2011: Uruguay Vs. Chile: Uruguay And Chile Settle For 1-1 Draw

Uruguay may have been better than Chile in the first half, but they didn't have anything to show for it. They finally did go ahead with a 53rd minute goal, but from then on it was all Chile. The Chileans, backed by a large and vocal group of supporters who made the trip across the border to Argentina, got an equalizer in the 64th minute and spent the rest of the match pressuring Uruguay. Only some tremendous goalkeeping by Fernando Muslera kept Chile from getting the winner as he almost single-handedly got a point for Uruguay in a 1-1 draw.

The first half wasn't a boring first half, but it didn't have any goals and many observers just lumped it in with the many drawn, boring matches in the tournament. Chile hit the crossbar once and Uruguay had several opportunities to score, but they just missed the frame.

The open play of the first half translated over to the second half and finally resulted in a goal thanks to Alvaro Pereira. With the Chile defense scrambling, Pereira found himself a nice spot right in the middle of the box where he remained unmarked. A low cross from the left found him and he had no trouble turning to finish for the match's opening goal.

Any quality that Uruguay was playing with to that point went out the window though. Chile grabbed a hold of the match and got their equalizer before long. Jean Beausejour made a good run down the left and started taking the ball to the end line before playing a good pass to Alexis Sanchez, who found space in the box. Sanchez took a touch to settle before unleashing a hard shot across to the back post that Muslera had no chance of saving. The Chilean supporters erupted and the match was on level terms again.

Chile didn't stop with their goal though. Luis Jimenez, who was bright all match, looked like he would put Chile in front when he got a free header just three yards from goal, but Muslera came sprinting across to make a tremendous diving save. Muslera also came out to get a good cross out of danger and handled a well-struck shot from distance. Three dangerous free kicks late put a scare into the Uruguayans, but Muslera handled one and the other two just missed the frame as Uruguay just barely held on for the draw.

The draw puts Chile on top of Group C with four points and just one match left to play in the group, a July 12 contest against Peri in Mendoza. Uruguay will play their final group stage match against Mexico in La Plata, also on July 12.


Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Chike: Alexis Sanchez Equalizes For Chile

It took 53 minutes to break the deadlock between Uruguay and Chile, but only 11 minutes to find the match's second goal. Alvaro Pereira finally put the scoreboard to work with a 53rd minute goal that put Uruguay on top, but by the 64th minute the match was back tied up again and it came through the young starlet Alexis Sanchez. Now the teams have just 26 minutes to find another goal or be forced to split the points in what is becoming an increasingly open and exciting match.

Jean Beausejour found room on the left as Chile transitioned from defense to offense quickly. He started taking the ball to the end line before stopp short and finding Sanchez inside the box. Sanchez took one touch to set up the shot before driving home a great right-footed shot from the left side of the box. The ball left Fernando Muslera without a chance as it found the side netting. The large contingent of Chilean supporters in the stadium who went right across the border to Argentina for the match went crazy and all of a sudden the match was on even terms yet again.


Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Chile: Alvaro Pereira Puts Uruguay In Front

A goalless first half drew some criticism from viewers who are exasperated with the lack of goals in Copa America, but Uruguay and Chile weren't boring in the first half. They just couldn't turn chances into goals, but just eight minutes into the second half Uruguay has. Alvaro Pereira put away a cross into an open net in the 53rd minute and now Uruguay are ahead 1-0 in this crucial Copa America Group C contest.

Uruguay had been the better team in the first half, but didn't have the goal to show for it. They came out firing in the second half and it paid off when they caught the Chile defense scrambling. A low cross from the left found Pereira standing in the center unmarked. The Chile defense was nowhere near him and couldn't do anything but watch as Pereira turned and shot for the first goal of the match. 


Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Chile: Another Scoreless Half In Copa America

This Copa America is getting to be known for its lack of goals and draws and the first half of the match between Uruguay and Chile won't do much to change that. The two teams played a scoreless first half and have just 45 minutes to find a goal and break the deadlock. Unlike some of the other matches from the tournament though, the lack of goals hasn't made for a boring match. In fact, it has been rather entertaining and the odds of one team breaking the deadlock are pretty good.

Both teams have had their chances, but the best one came on an unintentional one. A deflection off of a clearance went flying towards the Uruguay goal and off the crossbar. A bit of luck for Uruguay that they didn't go down, but at the same time, had the ball gone in then it would have been unbelievably unlucky.

Without the benefit of luck or strange deflections, both teams have gotten forward pretty well. Diego Forlan has continued to underwhelm, as he has for a full year now with both Uruguay and Atletico Madrid, but Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez have been a hand full for Chile. Twice each almost scored in the first half and they figure to continue getting their chances in the second half.

Uruguay has been the better side, but Chile hasn't been dominated by any means. Alexis Sanchez is having a relatively poor match, but Humberto Suazo has been dangerous and Luis Jimenez is giving the team an added threat in the attack. Odds are the first goal will come from Uruguay, but Chile has their chance.


Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Chile: Lineups

It's match day two in Group C of Copa America and it kicks off with the first match of the tournament between two top teams. Uruguay is coming off of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Peru, while Chile is on three points after coming from behind to defeat Mexico, 2-1. Whoever wins this match will be in control of the group going into their final match of the group stage, while a draw would still leave Chile in a good position.

Uruguay has made two changes from the first match with Sebastian Coates coming into the team at centerback and Nicolas Lodeiro making way for Alvaro Pereira in the midfield. Chile has made just one chance with Luis Jimenez getting the start over Matias Fernandez. 

Uruguay (4-3-3): Fernando Muslera; Maxi Pereira, Diego Lugano, Sebastian Coates, Martin Cáceres; Egidio Arévalo Ríos, Diego Pérez, Alvaro Pereira; Diego Forlán, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suárez.

Chile (3-4-3): Claudio Bravo; Pablo Contreras, Waldo Ponce, Gonzalo Jara; Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Arturo Vidal, Jean Beuasejour; Luis Jimenez, Alexis Sanchez, Humberto Suazo


Copa America 2011, Uruguay Vs. Chile: Preview

Coming in to the 2011 Copa America, Uruguay vs. Chile looked like the glamour match of the group stages. Alexis Sanchez, Edinson Cavani, and Luiz Suarez are among the most exciting young forwards in the world. Diego Forlan was the Golden Ball winner at the last World Cup, while Humberto Suazo led CONMEBOL World Cup qualification in goals. Both teams played extremely entertaining football at that World Cup. So surely, both teams set the stage for the game with impressive opening performances, right?

Wrong. Chile defeated Brazil, but they left it late. Sanchez and Suazo were not poor, but they didn't look like themselves either. Using similar language to describe the performance of Uruguay would be extremely generous, as they looked very, very far from their best. Suarez scored a goal to rescue a point, but Cavani was extremely poor. They looked nothing like the Uruguay team that entertained the world en route to a World Cup semifinal appearance last summer.

It would be unfair to assume that Uruguay and Chile will not up their games on Friday because Argentina and Brazil haven't looked very good in their matches, but due to the way the tournament has started, it's just easy to feel like the teams are going to disappoint in the build-up to this game.

There's no doubt that both Chile and Uruguay have the talent to challenge any team in the world and to treat fans to an entertaining match. Let's just hope that they're actually up to the task, unlike their opening games.

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