Two late goals from Mexico helped the CONCACAF nation to a 3-1 victory over Uruguay in its Copa America Centenario Group C opener.
Goals from Rafa Marquez and Hector Herrera handed Mexico a vital three points, with Diego Godin having leveled in the second half, after Uruguayan defender Alvaro Pereira had given Mexico an early lead with an own goal.
The confusion appeared to throw the side off, and Mexico came out of the blocks firing and took the lead in just the fourth minute, with Pereira unintentionally heading in Guardado’s teasing cross.
Mexico continued to threaten in the early stages and Javier Aquino had the chance to double the lead but his shot was collected by Fernando Muslera.
Uruguay began to slowly work its way back into the game and Carlos Sanchez beat the offside trap, but his cross was brilliantly snuffed out by Mexico captain Rafael Marquez.
Guardado went into the book in the 25th for a late challenge on Sanchez, before Vecino returned the favor on the PSV midfielder two minutes later, also shown a yellow card.
Edinson Cavani had Uruguay’s best chance of the half in the 30th minute when he was played in by Nicolas Lodeiro, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward had his strike saved by Mexico goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.
Uruguay were without their best player, Luis Suarez, who injured a hamstring while playing for Barcelona last month.
Marquez’s goal came from the simplest of finishes as the wild, enthusiastic crowd erupted.
Uruguay’s Matius Vecino and Mexico’s Andres Guardado drew red cards and will miss one game through suspension. Uruguay were down to 10 players after Vecino left just before half-time after kicking Mexico’s Jesus Manuel Corona.
But despite being at a man disadvantage, Uruguay went on the attack earlier in the second half and, after several near misses, levelled it at 1-1.
Guardado was sent off to set up a free kick for Uruguay. Carlos Sanchez sent the ball into the area and Godin rose in a crowd and headed home. It was the first goal Mexico had allowed in its last 252 minutes of play. The celebrating Uruguayan players were briefly pelted by water bottles from the crowd.
Rafael Marquez fired in the go-ahead goal from close range in the 85th minute and Mexico survived the loss of playmaker Andres Guardado to a red card in Sunday’s 3-1 win against Uruguay in the Group B opener for both teams.
El Tri’s third goal came from Hector Herrera in second half stoppage time.