June 5, 2016
TRI GOALS MORE THAN ENOUGH
Late strikes lift Mexico past Uruguay, 3-1
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Former Red Bull Rafael Marquez scored in the 85th minute and Hector Herrera added another in injury time to lift Mexico to a 3-1 victory over Uruguay Sunday night, earning the first victory and scoring the first goals by a CONCACAF team in five tries at the Copa America.
|Rafa Marquez struck for the game-winner in Mexico's 3-1 win over Uruguay in Copa America Centenario.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Marquez converted with a right-footed drive after a ball fell to his feet in the middle of the penalty area, and Herrera tacked on a header, leaving Mexico atop Group C, ahead of Venezuela – which beat Jamaica 1-0 earlier in the day – on goal difference.
The late goals – of which Uruguay fierce contested Marquez's – ended a miserable day for Uruguay, which began when tournament officials in University of Phoenix Stadium played the Chilean national anthem instead of Uruguay's. Tournament organizers issued an official apology before the match was finished.
Mexico went ahead in the fourth minute on an own-goal by Alvaro Pereira, who was running with Herrera toward Uruguay's goal to defend a cross from Andres Guardado. As Herrera leapt over Periera's back at the edge of the six, the ball struck the Uruguayan fullback's face and deflected into the net.
Uruguay's day then degenerated further when Matias Vecino was expelled with his second yellow within a minute of halftime.
But Uruguay rallied. Mexican midfielder Andres Guardado was ejected with his second yellow in the 73rd minute and on the ensuing free kick less than 40 seconds later, Diego Godin equalized with a header.
It was the first goal conceded by Mexico in 804 minutes – since a 3-2 victory over the United States in the CONCACAF Cup – and the first since Juan Carlos Osorio was installed as manager in October. The victory was Mexico's 10th straight and extended its unbeaten streak to 20, since a 2-1 loss to Ecuador in the first round of last year's Copa America.