Uruguay win record 15th Copa America
Monday, 25th July 2011 at 09:36am
Two-time World Cup winners Uruguay made history in the early hours of Monday morning (July 25) when they won the Copa America for a record 15th time, beating Paraguay 3-0 in the final.
Goals from Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and a brace from former Manchester United front man Diego Forlan eased La Celeste to victory against a Paraguay team that had reached the final without winning a single match in regulation time.
The victory marked Uruguay's first Copa America success for 16 years and moves them one ahead of Argentina whom they beat en-route to the final.
Uruguay dominated the match right from the word go and Suarez gave his side a deserved lead after just 12 minutes, scoring from a deflected left foot shot that went into the back of the net of the far post behind Paraguay 'keeper Justo Villar.
Athletico Madrid striker Forlan doubled his side's advantage before half time and completed the scoring in the final minute of the match, collecting a headed pass from strike partner Suarez and slotting the ball in the far corner.
Forlan, who was making a record 82nd appearance for his country, scoring his 30th and 31st goals, lifted the trophy and revealed that he was the third member of his family to have won the long-running competition.
"My grandfather won it, my father won it and now I have won it," he said. "It is a pride for the family.
"Three generations of my family have won this tournament - Forlan will be the last name in history of football.
"It was a complicated game but the team played well. The early goal helped to simplify things."
Villar admitted that their opponents had deserved to win the game and the tournament itself.
"It was fair that Uruguay are the champions because they are a very solid team and their attackers are two lions," he said.
"They are among the best strikers in the world. We got to the final because we had guts and luck. In the second half of the final we had a lot of the ball and we created some good chances but we just couldn't score."
In recent years Uruguay has enjoyed an upturn in its football fortunes. The country's players now represent some of the biggest teams in world football and in 2010 they reached the semi-final of the World Cup in South Africa, surpassing the efforts of rivals Brazil and Argentina, considered the heavyweights of South American football.
Given that the country has a population of just 3.5 million people compared to Brazil's 193 million and Argentina's 40 million makes La Celeste's success all the more impressive.