Uruguay started their 2019 Copa America with a convincing 4-0 thrashing of 10-man Ecuador on Sunday night.
Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring after only six minutes for the two-time World Cup winners, before Ecuador’s Jose Quintero was sent off for an elbow on the former Ajax midfielder on 24 minutes after the referee consulted VAR.
Uruguay, who have been Copa America winners a record 15 times, started strongly in Belo Horizonte, with Seattle Sounders midfielder Lodeiro scoring in the opening 10 minutes. Following Ecuador’s reduction to 10 men, Paris St-Germain’s Edinson Cavani scored an acrobatic bicycle-kick on 33 minutes before Barcelona forward Luis Suarez tapped home a record 57th international goal to make it 3-0 shortly before half-time.
Ecuador defender Arturo Mina scored a crazy own goal in the 78th minute to complete Uruguay’s rout.
Defending champions Chile face invitees Japan tomorrow in the other opening game in Group C. Uruguay’s second game is against Japan on Thursday, with Ecuador taking on Chile the following day.