Forlan at the double as Uruguay are South American Champions

Forlan at the double

Forlan at the double as Uruguay are South American Champions.
Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Suarez 12', Forlan 42', 89'

Uruguay won the Copa America by a canter this afternoon to confirm themselves as undisputed champions of South America, a record 15th victory for Las Charruas.

A skillful early strike from Luis Suarez set them on the road to victory and a brace from another sharp marksman Diego Forlan made it sure.

From early on it was clear that the World Cup semi-finalists were the better team. Paraguay, who curiously had reached the final without winning a game, found themselves on the back foot in the 12th minute.

Suarez's quick feet allowed him to nip inside his marker and rifle a shot into the far corner to give Las Charruas the lead. Uruguay doubled their lead four minutes before the break when Forlan finished off a zig-zagging move after stealing the ball in Paraguay's last third.

Two down at the interval, Paraguay had to come out and play and managed to hit the crossbar through Nelson Valdez in the 54th minute, but they could not make inroads. Then the arrival of substitute Edinson Cavani in the Uruguayan attack just after the hour reminded us which team had more talent to call upon.

Paraguay pushed upfield and had plenty of play in Uruguay's last third, but had a wall of sky-blue shirts in front of them. Pablo Zeballos had a decent penalty appeal waved away in the 70th minute, which might have let his team back into the game.

But as the minutes ticked away and Paraguay maintained their siege without penetration, the risk of counter-attacks grew bigger. One such raid a minute from time saw Forlan, that exquisite finisher, find the net again to complete a comprehensive victory.

In winning the Copa America for the first time since 1995, Uruguay also qualify for the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil. Peru won third place, defeating Venezuela 4-1. Peru's Pablo Guerrero finished top scorer of the tournament with five goals, one more than Suarez.

URU - Muslera, M. Pereira, Lugano, Coates, J. Caceres (Godin 88'), Gonzalez, D.Perez (Eguren 69'), Rios, A. Pereira (Cavani 63'), Forlan, Suarez
PAR - Villar, Piris, Da Silva, Veron, Marecos, Vera (Estigarribia 64'), Ortigoza, V. Caceres (H.Perez 64'), Riveros, Valdez, Zeballos (Barrios 76')

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

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