Uruguay Are The Champions Of Sudamérica

"We played as a group. I think when groups are united like this, everyone together and going for the same thing, you can get things done." - Luis Suarez

Diego Forlan scored twice and Luis Suarez once as Uruguay beat Paraguay to be crowned South America champions for a record 15th time. Paraguay ran out of luck at the Copa America where they went five straight matches without a victory before reaching the final.

Suarez gave Uruguay the lead early in a match they dominated. Receiving a pass in the penalty area, the Liverpool forward scored with a deflected left-footed shot that went in off the far post behind the Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar. Forlan, who was voted the best player at last year's World Cup, made it 2-0 by lashing home a left-footed shot. He was set up after team-mate Egidio Arevalo Rios had stolen the ball from a Paraguay player in midfield. The Atletico Madrid striker had not scored in his 12 previous matches for the national team.

Sebastian Eguren almost scored in the 74th minute but was foiled when Villar stuck out his left arm with the ball heading for the net. Forlan notched the final goal in the last minute, taking a pass from Suarez and firing into the far corner. "We played as a group. I think when groups are united like this, everyone together and going for the same thing, you can get things done," said Suarez, who was named player of the tournament.

Forlan, who won a record 82nd cap for Uruguay, equalled the national record of 31 goals held by Hector Scarone.

Paraguay, who seldom threatened, played without their injured forward Roque Santa Cruz and winger Aureliano Torres. The Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino and his assistant Jorge Pautasso were suspended from the match after being sent off for repeatedly arguing with the referee in last Wednesday's victory over Venezuela – Paraguay advanced from the quarter-finals and semi-finals on penalties.

The victory gave Uruguay their first Copa America title since 1995. The small country of 3.5 million also reached the World Cup semi-finals a year ago, surpassing the performance of Brazil and Argentina. Uruguay's squad featured 20 of the 23 players they took to the World Cup. They showed teamwork and unselfish play despite possessing none of the star power of their bigger rivals.

The two continental giants were upset in the quarter-finals when Uruguay ousted Argentina on penalties and Paraguay eliminated Brazil, who had won four of the past five titles.

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