SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela, June 30 (Reuters) - Uruguay shrugged off their shock opening defeat by Peru to beat shot-shy Bolivia 1-0 in the Copa America on Saturday.
Mexican-based striker Vicente Sanchez scrambled the only goal in the 58th minute of the Group A game on a wet and windy afternoon in the Venezuelan Andes.
Despite a stuttering performance in which striker Diego Forlan was again largely ineffective, Uruguay picked up their first win while Bolivia were left with one point from two games.
Bolivia played lots of neat football in midfield but had to wait until injury time for their only real chance.
Uruguay made a determined start with several ferocious tackles flying in early on.
Carlos Diogo, Uruguay’s right back, should have been sent off for an awful challenge from behind on Jaime Moreno in the 20th minute but U.S. referee Baldomero Toledo let him off with a yellow card.
Neither side produced a real chance before halftime in the worst 45 minutes of football the tournament has witnessed.
Uruguay broke through when Diego Perez crossed into the middle where Forlan touched the ball into the path of Sanchez who scored from close range.
Goalkeeper Fabian Carini was called into action in the 81st minute when he intercepted a cross from the right by Bolivia’s Miguel Hoyos.
Carini was properly tested in injury time when he did well to turn over Sacha Lima’s venomous long-range shot.