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Uruguay beat Bolivia 5-0 to edge closer to Copa quarters

Uruguay thrashed tournament minnows Bolivia 5-0 in their Group C encounter in New Jersey on Thursday to all but book their place in the Copa America quarter-finals.

Facundo Pellistri nodded home the opener in the eighth minute and Darwin Nunez doubled Uruguay’s lead just after the 20-minute mark, powering a left-footed shot past Bolivia keeper Guillermo Vizcarra to score in his seventh consecutive international match, reports Reuters.

Maximiliano Araujo struck from close range to kill off the contest in the 77th minute before Federico Valverde made it 4-0 four minutes later.

Substitute Rodrigo Bentancur completed the rout by heading home the fifth in the 89th minute with his first touch.

Uruguay will progress as group winners if they avoid defeat by the United States in their final group game on Monday, while even defeat in that match would likely see them go through thanks to their superior goal difference.

Bolivia, who have lost both games so far, have only a slim mathematical chance of avoiding a group-stage exit for the fourth time in a row.

On a night when Nunez scored his 13th international goal, Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer Luis Suarez was brought on as a late substitute and was immediately handed the captain’s armband.

Nunez had already missed one quality chance before Pellistri found the net in the eighth minute from a well-worked set piece.

Nunez doubled Uruguay’s advantage when he finished instinctively over the charging Viscarra’s right shoulder and inside the near post.

Uruguay eased off at the start of the second half, much to manager Marcelo Bielsa’s disgust, but it proved to be the calm before the storm.

Maximiliano Araujo added a third after getting on the end of Nicolas de la Cruz’s through ball before Uruguay scored twice more in the closing stages.