21 Jul 2011

Surprises make way for logic of Uruguay success

1:08 pm on 21 July 2011

A Copa America riddled with surprises bowed to logic when Uruguay confirmed their standing as South America's top football team by reaching Sunday's final in Argentina.

Uruguay, fourth at the 2010 World Cup, beat Peru 2-0 in their semi-final in La Plata yesterday with two goals from the Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

Peru, like the other semi-final rivals Paraguay and Venezuela have earned the bonus of extra competitive matches to prepare for the World Cup qualifying campaign.

With Brazil hosting the 2014 finals, the nine South American Confederation nations have four and a half places (four automatic and a playoff against a Concacaf team to decide the other).

Argentina have not missed out on a World Cup since 1970 and can be expected to finish among the qualifiers at the end of the marathon 16-match campaign.

Brazil, who won the Copa America four times out of the last five, were the other big loser in Argentina.

Because of their quarter-final elimination they lost out of two more competitive matches when these will be in short supply for the World Cup hosts.