Uruguay's triumph at the 2011 CONMEBOL Copa America™️2023-07-24
- A summary of the Uruguay national team’s path towards the 2011 CONMEBOL Copa America™️ title.
In the CONMEBOL Copa America™️ hosted by Argentina in 2011, Uruguay was crowned champion of the world’s oldest national team tournament for the 15th time. The ‘Celeste’ delivered a stellar performance throughout their thrilling journey, ultimately securing the title on their neighbours’ soil for the third occasion, as they had done in the inaugural edition of the competition in 1916 and in 1987.
The team managed by ‘Maestro’ Óscar Tabárez started to take shape in 2006 and had already made it to the semifinals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. It was a golden era for the Uruguayans, boasting talents such as goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, defenders Diego Lugano, Diego Godín, Álvaro Pereira, and an enviable offensive lineup featuring Luis Suárez, Edinson Cavani, and the World Cup’s leading scorer, Diego Forlán.
Uruguay shared Group C with Peru, Chile and Mexico, kickstarting their campaign against Peru in a challenging qualification process. On July 5th, at the Bicentenario Stadium in San Juan, the ‘Charruas’ experienced an unexpected result, as the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Paolo Guerrero netted the first goal for Peru in the 23rd minute and Luis Suárez managed to equalize at the end of the first half, resulting in both teams sharing the points.
Chile was the next opponent for Tabárez’s squad. On July 9th, at Malvinas Argentinas Stadium in Mendoza, another 1-1 draw further complicated the aspirations of the Uruguayans to advance to the next stage, unlike the Chileans, who were closer to qualification with the point they earned. In this match, it was Uruguay who scored first, courtesy of Álvaro Pereira at the 54th minute. Alexis Sánchez netted the equalizer ten minutes later for ‘La Roja’.
With only two points in the standings, Uruguay needed a victory against Mexico in the final round of the group stage to secure a spot in the quarterfinals. On July 13th, in La Plata, the ‘Charruas’ triumphed over the Mexicans, thanks to a goal by Álvaro Pereira in the 14th minute. The left-back sent it to the back of the net after a partial save by the Mexican goalkeeper, following a cross from Diego Forlán. With the win, Uruguay advanced to face the host team, Lionel Messi’s Argentina, in the next phase.
On July 16th, the Brigadier General Estanislao López Stadium in Santa Fe hosted the match between the two neighbouring rivals. Diego Pérez opened the scoring for Uruguay early on, while Gonzalo Higuaín equalized a few minutes later. The closely contested match ended in a 1-1 draw and had to be decided on penalties. Uruguay converted all five, whereas Argentina scored four, with Carlos Tévez’s shot being saved by Fernando Muslera.
In the semifinals, Uruguay defeated Peru 2-0 in La Plata, thanks to a brace by Luis Suárez, which led the Uruguayan team to yet another CONMEBOL Copa America™️ final.
With a convincing 3-0 victory over Paraguay at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires, the ‘Charruas’ clinched their 15th CONMEBOL Copa America™️ trophy, leading the historic tally of titles. Luis Suárez in the 11th minute and Diego Forlán in the 41st and 89th minutes scored the winning goals.
This title crowned a golden era for the Uruguayan national team under the command of ‘Maestro’ Tabárez. A world-class team, responsible for the ‘Charruas’ most recent major achievement, the 2011 CONMEBOL Copa América™️.