Monday, July 25, 2011

Copa America Final Word

Paraguay's luck finally wore out as Uruguay cruised to a 3-0 win in the Copa America Finals to win the tournament for a record 15th time. Diego Forlan, who'd been scoreless since the World Cup, broke out of his mini-slump with a pair of goals, one on each side of halftime and Luis Suarez scored his 4th goal of the tournament to lead the way for the Champions. Forlan had gone 12 matches since his last goal, but the Atletico Madrid striker once again showed the form that led to his winning the Golden Ball at the World Cup. Suarez opened the scoring in the 11th minute when his shot deflected in off a defender and went just inside the back post. Forlan would then add to the lead 30 minutes later after a Paraguay turnover striking a rocket past a flat-footed Justo Villar to make it 2-0 before halftime. Forlan would cap off the scoring in the 90th minute, fittingly on a pass from Suarez. Suarez, the tournament's second leading scorer was named the MVP, while Uruguay's 20 year old center back Sebastián Coates was named the tournament's best young player. Paraguay's Villar was named the tournament's best goalkeeper having turned in 3 shutouts in the tournament. It was the first time that Uruguay had won the tournament since 1995.
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The third place game ended up being a blowout as well as the clock finally struck midnight for cinderella Venezuela as Peru took third place with a 4-1 win. William Chiroque opened the scoring in the 11th minute with his first ever international goal, but the game stayed tight for the rest of the half. The second half was a different story though as Venezuela's Tomas Rincon was sent off in the 58th minute giving Peru the man advantage. Then it became the Paolo Guerrero show. Guerrero, who scored all of Peru's goals during group play, tallied his 3rd goal of the tournament to make it 2-0, but Venezuela, despite playing a man down wouldn't go quietly. 31 year old Juan Arango cut the deficit in half in the 77th minute. Guerrero wasn't done though scoring in both the 89th and 90th minutes, giving him a tournament high 5 goals and clinching third place for Peru. The 27 year old Hamburger SV striker now has 15 international goals. Venezuela, despite the loss, still achieved their highest ever finish in the Copa America. 

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