Copa America: Peru upsets Uruguay

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Miguel Villalta scored with first-half header and Peru added another pair in the second half to upset Uruguay 3-0 on Wednesday.

Updated: June 30, 2007 06:31 IST
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Miguel Villalta scored with first-half header and Peru added another pair in the second half to upset Uruguay 3-0 on Wednesday, providing a stunning opening to the 42nd Copa America.

A poorly marked Villalta converted a short corner in the 27th minute and Juan Carlos Marino's blast inside the near post from the top corner of the penalty area in the 70th gave the Peruvians more than enough to prevail.

A wide open Paolo Guerrero, on a pass from Andres Mendoza, scored Peru's third goal over a tired Uruguay squad in the final minutes.

Referee Carlos Amarillo annulled a fourth Peruvian goal for being offside.

"The victory is welcomed with simplicity. It's only the start of something that be really great," Peru manager Julio Cesar Uribe said.

"The idea is to keep working and advance. We have a way to go to reach our objective. We haven't won anything yet."

Uruguay reacted quickly to Villalta's strike by pushing the ball forward. But despite threats by striker Diego Forlan, the more experienced, Europe-based Uruguayan team struggled against a solid Peruvian side that dominated from the opening whistle.

"The victory was Peru's. It was deservedly won and not due to any mistakes on our part," Uruguayan manager Oscar Tabarez said. "It never crossed our minds that we'd receive a flood of goals by Peru."

Mist-covered field

Play was hampered at times by a slippery, mist-covered field. The game was played before a half-empty Metropolitan Stadium, one of two built specially for the Copa together with the remodeling of seven more venues and other infrastructure improvements at a cost of $1 billion.

Uruguay, trying to win a record 15th Copa America and break its tie with Argentina for the most titles in the tournament's 91-year history, faces a relatively weak rival Bolivia on Saturday in San Cristobal.

Peru, which had beaten Uruguay only three times in 10 previous meetings, faces host Venezuela immediately afterward in the same stadium.

"The team can be much better," Uribe said. "We respect the history (of Uruguay), but we are starting to write a new one. Their history is in the past."

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