Uruguay 3 Uzbekistan 0: Tabarez's side through to China Cup final
Mar 22 2019 - 13:29
Uruguay booked a place in the final of the China Cup with Oscar Tabarez's side enjoying a comfortable 3-0 victory over Uzbekistan thanks to Cristhian Stuani's double.
Hector Cuper's men took Australia to penalties in the last 16 of the Asian Cup earlier this year but found Uruguay a step up in class on Friday.
First-half goals from Gaston Pereiro and Stuani set up a final against Thailand on Monday, with hosts China having suffered a shock 1-0 defeat in their last four meeting, and a late Stuani strike sealed matters.
Uruguay had lost their past four friendlies but opened the scoring in the fifth minute at Guangxi Sports Center Stadium in Nanning.
Nicolas Lodeiro did brilliantly to keep the ball in on the byline and when he cut a pass back to Pereiro, he rifled a fine finish across a crowded penalty area.
And it was 2-0 to Uruguay in the 23rd minute, a series of defensive errors allowing Stuani to run through on goal and lob Sanjar Kuvvatov.
Tabarez rested starters including Diego Godin - the defender making a joint record 125th appearance - Rodrigo Bentancur and Diego Laxalt during the second half as Uzbekistan struggled to get close to Fernando Muslera's goal.
PSV midfielder Pereiro almost scored his second of the game with a venomous volley that flew past a helpless Kuvvatov but crashed against the crossbar.
And Uruguay added the third goal their dominance deserved in the closing stages as poacher Stuani turned in a low cross from Javier Rodriguez.