Uruguay’s rampant 4-0 win over Ecuador in their 2019 Copa América (CA) opener made it four wins in succession to produce a margin of 3+ goals. Each match in that sequence saw Uruguay win both halves, and score exactly once beyond the 75th minute.
Three of those four wins also saw Uruguay open the scoring inside the first ten minutes of play. Speaking of games where Uruguay have scored first, they have won each of the last 13 matches in which they have done so, while March 2017 remains the last time any team beat Uruguay after conceding first.
Japan’s potential to struggle as a guest team at the CA was laid bare in their own opener. The ‘Samurai Blue’ went down 4-0 to reigning holders Chile, and it was a result that marked their second successive defeat ‘to-nil’ against a CONMEBOL nation currently ranked in the FIFA top-20.
The transcontinental visitors’ form also suggests that scoring first is vital to their hopes. They have lost the last three matches to see them concede first while going on to win each of the last seven matches where they opened the scoring.
Standing Group C ;
- Uruguay 3 points
- Chile 3 points
- Ecuador 0 points
- Japan 0 points
Players to watch: Nicolás Lodeiro was the opening scorer against Ecuador, netting after just six minutes.
Shoya Nakajima is the last of the ‘Samurai Blue’ to score against South American opponents.
Stat attack: Going back to July 2011, eight of Uruguay’s last ten CA matches have seen one team fail to score.
Four of the five goals conceded by Japan against South American opposition in 2019 have arrived in the second half.
Three of the last four H2H matches have seen at least one team fail to score before half-time.
Will not play
Referee: Rojas A. (Col),
Venue: Arena do Grêmio (Porto Alegre)