Uruguay routs Bolivia 5-0 at Copa America as Nunez scores in 7th straight game

Thu, Jun 27, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Uruguay routs Bolivia 5-0 at Copa America as Nunez scores in 7th straight game

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Darwin Nunez scored in his seventh straight international match, and Uruguay routed Bolivia 5-0 on Thursday night to move to verge of a quarterfinal berth in the Copa America.

Facundo Pellistri put the Uruguayans ahead in the eighth minute and Nunez doubled the lead in the 21st with his 10th goal in his last seven games for Uruguay and 13th in 25 matches overall.

Maximiliano Araujo scored his second goal of the tournament in the 77th, and Federico Valverde (81st) and Rodrigo Bentancur (89th) added goals as Uruguay romped through a ragged Bolivian defense.

Uruguay, seeking its record 16th Copa America title, is 2-0 for six points with a plus-seven goal difference and would advance with at least a draw on Monday against the U.S. at Kansas City, Missouri, or perhaps even a loss. The U.S. has three points and plus-one goal difference and Panama three points and minus-one difference.

Bolivia has lost 14 consecutive Copa America matches dating to 2015 and has one win in its last 32. With no points and a minus-seven goal difference, it has almost no chance of advancing going into Monday's match against Panama at Orlando, Florida. Bolivia is likely to be eliminated in the group stage for fourth straight time.

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MetLife Stadium's upper deck was nearly empty and the site of the 2026 World Cup final drew 48,033. Two days earlier, Lionel Messi and Argentina drew a sellout crowd of 81,106 for a 1-0 win over Chile.

Bolivia made six changes from its opening 2-0 loss to the U.S. and Uruguay quickly went ahead.

Nicolas de la Cruz played a long free kick down a flank and Ronald Araujo outjumped Luis Haquin to center a header. Mathias Olivera couldn't reach it and the ball bounced before Pellistri nodded it in for his second international goal.

Nunez, who took seven shots in the first half, scored off a perfect weighed pass from Maximiliano Araujo on a quick counterattack.

Maximiliano Araujo made it 3-0 with third international goal, fed by de la Cruz after Bolivia turned over the ball in midfield. Valverde scored his seventh after exchanging passes with Pellistri and Bentancur headed in Giorgian de Arrascaet's free kick for his second international goal, three minutes after entering.

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