Mexico got off to a promising start in the Copa América as they defeated title-challengers Uruguay in their first game of the tournament
Jun 5, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Mexico defender Rafael Marquez (4) celebrates a goal against Uruguay during the second half during the group play stage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mexico won the match 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports, photo: Joe Camporeale, via USA Today Sports
06 of June 2016 11:29:41
Mexico scored twice in the final five minutes to beat Uruguay 3-1 in a pulsating Copa América Group C match in which each side had a man sent off on Sunday.[caption id="attachment_20973" align="alignright" width="300"] Uruguay defender Diego Godín (3) dribbles against Mexico defenders Diego Reyes (5) and Rafael Márquez (4) at University of Phoenix Stadium. Photo: Reuters/Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports[/caption]
The win in front of a passionate and partisan crowd at Glendale, Arizona left Mexico top of the group on goal difference from Venezuela after they beat 10-man Jamaica 1-0 in Chicago.
The early omens were not good for Uruguay who stood stunned before kickoff when the Chilean national anthem was played instead of their own.
Mexico then made a lightning start with the fastest goal of the tournament so far in their first incursion into the Uruguay penalty area in the fourth minute.
Héctor Herrera and Uruguay's Álvaro Pereira both leapt to meet Andrés Guardado's curling cross from the left with the defender heading into his own net.
Uruguay, without injured striker Luis Suárez and on the back foot for most of the first half, missed two good chances either side of halftime.
Edinson Cavani, put through by Nicolás Lodeiro, was one-on-one with Talavera but the goalkeeper closed him down and blocked his effort after 30 minutes.
In the 58th minute, Godín broke into attack from his own half and laid off to his right for Cavani who crossed to fellow striker Diego Rolán on the left but his finish was poor and ended up on the wrong side of the near post.[caption id="attachment_20974" align="aligncenter" width="875"] Captain Rafael Márquez celebrates his goal against Uruguay during the second half of the game. Photo: Reuters/Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports[/caption]
Uruguay also had Matías Vecino dismissed on the stroke of halftime, after a second booking for a foul on Jesús Corona. Their team played better with one less, however, and equalized in the 74th minute from the free kick awarded when Guardado was also shown a second yellow card.
Carlos Sánchez, the man Guardado brought down, hit the free kick into the box where captain Diego Godín headed past Alfredo Talavera to put the record 15-times champions back on level terms.
Mexico, however, had the last word when their 37-year-old captain Rafael Márquez scored a stunning goal from a corner, rifling the ball past Fernando Muslera's with an angled shot from the right.
With the Uruguayans pushing forward in numbers in search of another equalizer, Herrera made the result safe in the second minute of added time with a header from Raúl Jiménez's neat flick across the face of goal.
Mexico play Jamaica next in Pasadena on Thursday when Uruguay meet Venezuela in Philadelphia.