Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Both Argentina, Uruguay hit five in buildup games


Uruguay’s Abel Hernandez, left, attempts an overhead-kick against Guatemala’s Carlos Gallardo in their international friendly in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Saturday.

Photo: AP

Uruguay handed Guatemala a 5-1 roasting in an international friendly on Saturday that augurs well for their defense of the Copa America in the absence of suspended striker Luis Suarez.

Argentina also impressed in the buildup to the tournament in Chile, with Sergio Aguero scoring a hat-trick and Angel di Maria a brace in their 5-0 demolition of Bolivia in San Juan.

In other matches, Ecuador trounced Panama 4-0 with two goals from Fidel Martinez in Guayaquil, while Radamel Falcao scored the winner in Colombia’s 1-0 victory over Costa Rica in Buenos Aires. Paraguay and Honduras drew 2-2 in Asuncion, with former Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz getting both Paraguay’s goals.

While Suarez was helping Barcelona win the UEFA Champions League final in Berlin, his young understudy Diego Rolan put Uruguay one up after four minutes from Alvaro Pereira’s cross.

Edinson Cavani then added a brace, his first a tap-in after Rolan had hit the post, then a penalty on the half-hour mark to put the hosts 3-0 up at halftime.

Substitutes Giorgian de Arrascaeta and Abel Hernandez increased Uruguay’s lead, before Guatemala pulled one back through defender Wilson Lalin 12 minutes from time.

Uruguay open their defense of the Copa America title against Jamaica on Saturday and also meet Argentina and Paraguay in Group B.

Suarez is serving a ban of nine international matches after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at last year’s FIFA World Cup finals.

Despite missing Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez, all of whom played in the Champions League final, Argentina found it just as easy against Bolivia.

Di Maria scored the opener after 24 minutes with an angled drive from the edge of the penalty area. Aguero got his first four minutes later with a penalty-kick and then added another on the half-hour mark when he clipped home a cross at the near post.

Di Maria slotted home from the spot after 54 minutes and Aguero sealed his hat-trick a minute later.

Ecuador, who are Chile’s opponents in the tournament’s opening match in Santiago on Friday, also ran up a 3-0 lead in the first half against Panama.

Striker Miller Bolanos scored the first from a pass by tricky winger Jefferson Montero after he had beaten two defenders in the penalty area in the 26th minute.

Martinez then scored twice in eight minutes, first from Montero’s pass, then with a header from leftback Walter Ayovi’s cross.

Seven minutes into the second half, Montero added the fourth for Ecuador, who also meet Mexico and Bolivia in their Copa America group.

Colombia captain Falcao settled a more even affair at the Estadio Diego Armando Maradona in the Argentine capital in the opening minute of the second half, scoring from Juan Cuadrado’s low cross.

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