Uruguay crowned champions of South America

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 5:51 PM ET

Buenos Aires, Argentina - Uruguay won its record 15th South American title on Sunday with a convincing 3-0 victory over Paraguay in the final of the 2011 Copa America.

With favorites Argentina and Brazil both failing to advance beyond the quarterfinals, Uruguay left little doubt as to who was the top team in the region as Luis Suarez opened the scoring after 12 minutes with Diego Forlan adding a second goal shortly before the break.

Suarez and Forlan then teamed up on the third goal in the 90th minute to cap an impressive performance.

Uruguay took charge of the match early and almost scored in the opening two minutes when a corner kick was headed on goal by Diego Lugano, forcing a good reaction stop from goalkeeper Justo Villar. Sebastian Coates was on hand to nod the rebound back toward goal, but Paraguay's Nestor Ortigoza blocked it on the goal line.

A strong period of pressure eventually led to the opening goal and it came with a bit of good fortune as Suarez brought the ball down inside the penalty area on the right and had his shot deflect off of a defender and go in on off the far post.

Villar did well to keep out Forlan in the 32nd when he came off his line to stop Forlan's shot with his legs after the striker had broken through.

However, a giveaway in the back by the Paraguay defense handed Uruguay a second goal as Egidio Arevalo stole the ball 25 yards from goal and slid a pass to Forlan inside the area. He then lashed the ball past Villar with a first-time shot that settled inside the right post.

Only a great effort from Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera in the 54th minute kept Paraguay off the scoreboard when a volley from Nelson Haedo Valdez was tipped onto the crossbar by the 'keeper.

It was the best chance that Paraguay could create, and after Villar made a sprawling save to keep out a deflected shot from Sebastian Vazquez, he could do nothing to prevent Forlan from scoring a second goal in the dying minutes.

Suarez set it up by heading the ball into space on the left and Forlan tracked it down and calmly beat Villar from inside the area with Paraguay having pushed men forward.

It was a fitting way for Uruguay to cap its tournament, and after finishing fourth in last summer's World Cup, its fair to say that South America is no longer ruled by just Argentina and Brazil.


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