Uruguay 1 Peru 0: Cavani sends hosts top in World Cup qualifying


Edinson Cavani scored the only goal of the game as Uruguay moved top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying group with a 1-0 triumph against Peru.

The win moves Uruguay to the summit of the 10-team group on 13 points after Ecuador suffered a 3-1 loss to Colombia, ending their unbeaten run.

After a scoreless first half, the deadlock was broken at the Estadio Centenario eight minutes into the second, Cavani smashing home a powerful strike after being played in by strike partner Luis Suarez.

Cavani had a chance to double the advantage just a minute later but saw a free header crash off the crossbar, while Carlos Sanchez had a close-range effort saved.

Peru continued to attack in the latter stages but Uruguay managed to hold on in front of a big home crowd in Montevideo.

The first chance of the game fell Uruguay's way in the eighth minute after Suarez's free-kick was deflected, Sebastian Coates managing to get his head onto the ball from the resulting corner, but the big defender had his effort saved by Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

The home side were wasteful in possession and Peru began to control the game and almost took a shock lead in the 25th minute after Paolo Guerrero was played in on goal, but the Flamengo forward hit his strike straight at Uruguay shot-stopper Fernando Muslera.

Uruguay began to work themselves into the game and looked most threatening from set-pieces, Mauricio Victorino coming closest to open the scoring next after seeing his header deflect off a Peruvian defender onto the crossbar.

Cavani had a chance to give Uruguay the lead a minute later after Suarez was fouled just outside the area, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward's free-kick sailed just over the bar. 

Oscar Tabarez made an attacking change at half-time, replacing Matias Vecino with Cristian Rodriguez, and Uruguay began to show a lot more intent going forward. 

Suarez had a shot saved by Gallese after being played in by Coates and the Sporting CP loanee should have scored from the resulting corner, but he failed to direct his diving header on target. 

However, the breakthrough came just minutes later, with Rodriguez finding Suarez who flicked the ball onto Cavani before the 29-year-old blasted the ball into the net. 

Uruguay continued to attack from the restart and almost found a second through Sanchez, before Cavani had a free header smash off the crossbar seconds later. 

Peru were able to settle themselves and restrict Uruguay in the latter stages of the second half, with Muslera only mildly tested by long-range efforts.

Uruguay had a scare in the dying stages with Andy Polo blasting a shot from the edge of the area, but luckily for the hosts it went centimetres wide of the post.

They managed to hold on to their slender advantage to move top of the group, while Peru continue in third last on four points from their opening six games.