Luis Suarez will dominate the headlines after a two controversial incidents helped earn Uruguay a win in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying.
The Uruguayans cemented their hold on fifth-place in CONMEBOL’s standings after a 2-1 win over 10-man Peru in Lima.
Suarez scored the opening goal from the penalty spot after going down easily in the area after a challenge by his marker.
The Liverpool striker then created more controversy by falling to the ground after minimal contact from Victor Yotun’s challenge that saw the Peruvian defender given a straight red card.
There was still more to come as Suarez completed his brace by smashing the ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
The home side did ensure a nervy last few minutes for Uruguay after Jefferson Farfan’s superb, curling free kick in the 84th minute but the visitors held on for victory.
Peru started the better of the two sides with Claudio Pizarro firing their best chance straight at Uruguay custodian Fernando Muslera after 12 minutes.
Uruguayan captain Diego Lugano was then lucky not to be sent off a few minutes later after a flying elbow against Jefferson Farfan was deemed only a free-kick.
Enter Suarez, who appeared to dive in winning the penalty for his first goal on 43 minutes before he reacted theoretically to minor contact from Yotun that saw the defender sent off four minutes later.
Peru was subject to waves of attacks in the second-half with Suarez and Edinson Cavani linking up menacingly to provide regular threats on the home side’s goal.
It was poetic that Suarez provided the final blow to Peru, as he picked up the ball on the edge of the area and drove a brilliant shot into the roof of net in the 67th minute leaving goalkeeper Raul Fernandez no chance.
Farfan’s brilliant dead-ball strike from outside the area gave Peru hope but they couldn’t find an equaliser.
The Peruvian fans showed their disgust by throwing objects from the stands at Suarez in the latter stages of the game, upset at the performance of the striker, who was a surprise starter in the Uruguayan first eleven after a lack of match practice.
Suarez, who became Uruguay’s all-time top scorer with his two strikes, is currently serving a 10-match ban for Liverpool in the English Premier League after biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic last season.
Three points for Uruguay saw them hold a game in hand and a three-point gap over sixth-placed Venezuela with a possible play-off for a World Cup position looming against either Jordan or Uzbekistan from Asia if they maintain fifth spot.