Barcelona superstar Luis Suárez made his debut in the 2019 Copa America, and his Uruguay team proved why they’re one of the favorites thanks to a dominant 4-0 win over 10-man Ecuador on Sunday night in Belo Horizonte. La Celeste were the best team on the pitch from the very beginning, and Suárez scored his first goal of the tournament as part of a Man of the Match performance.
The first 20 minutes were rough to watch, with the only highlight being a beautiful pass from Luis Suárez and a gorgeous finish from Nicolás Lodeiro to give Uruguay an early lead. For most of the half, though, Ecuador resorted to parking the bus and kicking the living hell out of Uruguay players, which eventually led to a red card for José Quintero.
Once the underdogs went down to 10 men, things were pretty easy for the Celeste: they sent more bodies forward and created more chances, and their superstar strikers joined the fun: first it was Edinson Cavani who scored from a pretty nice training ground routine on a corner kick, then Suárez got his goal with a tap-in at the far post from another corner.
At halftime a very comfortable night for Uruguay had them up three goals, and if they wanted to it could be a lot more in the second half.
Against a 10-man Ecuador with no attacking threat whatsoever and the win very much in the bag, Uruguay decided not to go for more and were comfortable with passing the ball from side to side and simply waiting for the final whistle. They still managed to find the back of the net one more time, though, thanks to an own goal by Arturo Mina.
The game ended with a four-goal win for Uruguay, but it should have been at least six or seven. They were that dominant, and they look like serious contenders to win it all. The good news for Barça fans is that the knee surgery worked, and Luis Suárez looked like his old self. The hope is for a big tournament from him that can carry into his club form next season, and the early signs are very encouraging.
Uruguay: Muslera; Cáceres, Giménez, Godín, Laxalt; Nández (Pereiro), Vecino (Valverde), Bentancur, Lodeiro (Torreira); Suárez, Cavani
Goals: Lodeiro (6’), Cavani (33’), Suárez (44’), (Mina OG 78’)
Ecuador: Domínguez; Quintero, Mina, Achilier, Caicedo; A. Valencia, Intriago, Orejuela, Preciado (Ibarra); Mena (Velasco), E. Valencia
Red Cards: Quintero (24’)