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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 08:54 GMT 09:54 UK
Peru shock Uruguay in Copa opener

All the latest news from the Copa America in Venezuela.

GROUP A: PERU 3-0 URUGUAY

The Copa America began on Tuesday in Venezuela, with Peru causing a shock in the first game by thrashing perennial dark horses Uruguay in Merida.

Peru's Juan De La Haza (left) celebrates their third goal with team-mates
Peru's players had plenty to celebrate in Merida on Tuesday

Uruguay, missing Inter Milan forward Alvaro Recoba due to injury, fell behind when Miguel Villanta powered in a first-half header from a corner.

Their troubles deepened after the break when Juan Carlos Marino slammed in from outside the area, before Paolo Guerrero slotted in to wrap up the Group A points in the last minute.


  • Peru coach Julio Cesar:
    "These players are starting to change the course of Peruvian soccer. But I am still convinced we can play better."

    606: DEBATE

  • Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez:
    "The victory was Peru's. It was deservedly won and not due to any mistakes on our part."

    GROUP A: VENEZUELA 2-2 BOLIVIA

    The competition kicked off for the host nation in San Cristobal as Venezuela entertained underdogs Bolivia in front of a crowd of 43,000 at the Pueblo Nuevo stadium.

    Venezuela president Hugo Chavez (left), with Argentine legend Diego Maradona
    Venezuela president Hugo Chavez (left) with Diego Maradona

    Argentine legend Diego Maradona was there to open the tournament and Giancarlo Maldonado gave the hosts an early lead, only for Jaime Moreno's deflected shot to level matters.

    Venezuela temporarily regained the lead with a breakaway goal by Ricardo Paez, but Juan Carlos Arce sneaked in another equaliser seven minutes from time as the spoils were shared.


  • Venezuela coach Richard Paez:
    "The team wasn't playing at its best level, only two or three players were."

  • Boliva coach Erwin Sanchez:
    "I'm happy with our defence and about the way the team reacted, without ever lowering its guard."


    Next round of fixtures (Group B):

    Wednesday: Ecuador v Chile (2335 BST)
    Thursday: Brazil v Mexico (0150 BST)



    SEE ALSO
    Tim Vickery column
    25 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Football tries to tackle Venezuela
    25 Jun 07 |  Americas
    S America urges Fifa to lift ban
    15 Jun 07 |  Americas


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