Peru kept their World Cup qualifying hopes alive with an impressive 2-1 victory against slumping Uruguay on Tuesday.
Barcelona star Luis Suarez returned from suspension but not even his presence for Uruguay in Lima could prevent a third consecutive qualifying defeat.
Uruguay made a dream start through Carlos Sanchez in the 30th minute but it went downhill from there as Paolo Guerrero restored parity four minutes later before Edison Flores completed the comeback just past the hour-mark against the struggling visitors.
Substitute Jonathan Urretaviscaya saw red with a quarter of an hour remaining in a forgettable international debut to compound Uruguay’s woes.
Uruguay remain third in the CONMEBOL standings, 10 points adrift of Brazil, while Peru are seventh – four points behind Argentina, who occupy the play-off position.
Peru named almost an identical team to the one that drew 2-2 at Venezuela last week, with Miguel Araujo coming in for Christian Ramos the only change to Ricardo Gareca’s team.
Uruguay welcomed back two star players to the fold. Suarez and Fernando Muslera returned after serving suspensions in the 4-1 loss at home to Brazil. Diego Rolan and Martin Silva dropped out. Jorge Fucile, Jose Gimenez and Alvaro Gonzalez were also named at the expense of Gaston Silva, Sebastian Coates and Egidio Arevalo.
Peru did not look like a side who had lost their past four matches against Uruguay – the country’s last win against Oscar Tabarez’s men coming back in September 2009.
Led by Guerrero, Peru pressed Uruguay and threatened in attack as the veteran forward controlled the ball inside the penalty area with Muslera closing in but he was unable to steer his volley into the net.
While Peru pushed forward, it was Uruguay who took the lead on the half-hour mark.
After flashing a shot wide of the post earlier in the match, Sanchez found the back of the net. Suarez battled for possession and managed to get the ball to the 32-year-old, who fired his shot into the ground and over Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Uruguay’s lead was short-lived, however, after Guerrero equalised in the 34th minute. The big forward outmuscled Diego Godin before tucking his shot under Muslera.
That shifted the momentum in favour of Peru, who emerged from the break on the front foot and Uruguay struggled to contain the lively hosts.
Alberto Rodriguez saw his effort tipped over the bar, while Flores stepped away from two challenges and rocketed a shot just wide of the post four minutes later.
Peru eventually got their second and it was deserved as the clock ticked over the hour. Guerrero brought the ball down inside the box and Flores was on hand to emphatically finish first time.
Uruguay thought they equalised with 13 minutes remaining when a blistering counter-attack from the visitors saw them in a two-on-one situation with Gallese but the ball was brought back after debutant Urretaviscaya controversially received a second yellow for using his hand in the lead up.
Uruguay made one last foray forward and they were forced to leave empty-handed after Godin’s header cannoned off the crossbar.
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