Luis Suarez marked his return from a knee injury with a brilliant goal in Uruguay’s 3-0 win over Panama in an international friendly on Friday.
Suarez underwent knee surgery after Barcelona’s Champions League exit last month and his return was a welcome sight for Uruguay ahead of the Copa America.
The star forward came on for the final half-hour in Montevideo, where he struck with a free-kick six minutes after being introduced to add to Maxi Gomez’s first-half header.
Another substitute, Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde, sealed Uruguay’s win with a fine strike.
Edinson Cavani also came off the bench for Uruguay, who open their Copa America campaign against Ecuador on June 16.
— Selección Uruguaya (@Uruguay) June 8, 2019
Fouls ruined the early flow of the game, although Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera was tested by a long-range Fidel Escobar strike.
But Gomez opened the scoring for the hosts in the 19th minute with his second international goal.
After a throw-in on the right, Giorgian De Arrascaeta’s lovely cross was headed in by Gomez from close range.
— Selección Uruguaya (@Uruguay) June 7, 2019
Uruguay pushed following their opener and De Arrascaeta poked a rebound wide after Panama goalkeeper Luis Mejia could only parry a tame Nahitan Nandez shot.
There was a brief injury worry for Uruguay as Diego Godin went down clutching his arm before half-time, while Matias Vecino had a volley pushed around the post by Mejia.
Suarez needed little time to have an impact, scoring his 56th international goal in the 69th minute.
The star forward curled a wonderful 20-yard free-kick into the top corner, giving Mejia no chance.
Valverde wrapped up Uruguay’s win in the 79th minute, brilliantly volleying into the bottom corner from 25 yards after a cross from the right was cleared into his path.
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