Majestic Suarez destroys weakened Chile
Uruguayan star striker Luis Suarez scored four times to give the Copa America holders a 4-0 victory over Chile and maintain their place on top of the LatAm 2014 World Cup qualifying standings.
The 24-year-old Liverpool marksman made up for the absence of injured talisman Diego Forlan to ensure the Uruguayans stayed top and extended their lead to three points over two-time World Cup winners Argentina, who were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Bolivia.
Chile coach Claudio Borghi's decision to suspend five of his first choice players -- including Serie A midfielders Arturo Vidal and Carlos Carmona -- for turning up the worse for wear at training earlier in the week rebounded spectacularly on him and his side as Suarez tore them apart.
Suarez, who was suspended for Uruguay's World Cup semi-final last year after he was sent-off in the quarter-final against Ghana when he handled a goalbound effort in the last minute of extra-time, struck first three minutes from the break and then again right on half-time.
His one man show continued in the second-half as he converted a cross from Martin Caceres and then rounded it off with his fourth and final effort in the 73rd minute before being removed from the action three minutes later.
"It's the kind of thing that you dream of doing and something that we will never forget...," said Suarez.
"I have been told that no Uruguayan has ever scored four goals in one qualifier before, but I couldn't have done it without the help of the rest of the team."
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said that his players kept on surprising him.
"We are very satisfied. It is a victory for the whole group. These boys know each other, they know what we want from them, and they are humble enough to know their limitations. It was a special night," said the 64-year-old known as 'The Teacher'.
"I have a group of players who surprise me all the time, their attitude is always impressive, every time they step on to the pitch, and if we can keep that up I think we will remain a tough team to beat.
"We know that these points will be useful, but there is still a long way to go."
Tabarez, who last year guided Uruguay to their best World Cup finish since 1970, when they also reached the semi-finals, said that Suarez seemed to thrive every time he played for the national side.
"What this big kid has done is incredible. He seems to get better every time he joins up with the squad," said Tabarez.
The belligerent Bolivians took their first point of the campaign against Alejandro Sabella's star-studded Argentina, whose line-up included Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and PSG midfielder Javier Pastore.
The Argentinians have four points from three games with tailenders Bolivia earning one point thanks to a Marcelo Martins goal.
Messi admitted he was feeling "frustrated" after throwing away two points and warned that his side needed to win on Tuesday against Colombia.
"I'm frustrated because we had chances but we didn't have luck, we need to win whatever happens," said world player of the year Messi.
Despite the hosts dominating play early in the hard fought match they were surprised when Martins scored after 55 minutes following an error from Malaga defender Martin Demichelis.
But Napoli striker Ezequiel Lavezzi got the Albiceleste level again four minutes later to the relief of the 30,000 spectators.
Messi admitted his side had again made work more difficult for themselves after a 1-0 defeat against Venezuela last month, which followed a 4-1 win over Chile.
"The important thing now is to win to make things easier on ourselves and so we can work calmly."
"We want to find our game and do things well."
Martins said that he and his team-mates had worked hard prior to the game to improve on their previous performances.
"This was very important, Argentina have great players, but they were up against a Bolivia side who have worked hard to improve, unfortunately we didn't get the result we came for even if we did surprise Argentina," said Martins.
Argentina will be looking to improve dramatically on this performance when they go to Colombia on Tuesday.
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