Football: Uruguay get first ever win at high altitude in Bolivia

Diego Godin of Uruguay celebrating after scoring against Bolivia during their 2018 World Cup qualifying match in La Paz.
Diego Godin of Uruguay celebrating after scoring against Bolivia during their 2018 World Cup qualifying match in La Paz.PHOTO: REUTERS

LA PAZ (REUTERS) - Uruguay made light of missing suspended strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to secure their first ever away win over Bolivia in La Paz with a 2-0 scoreline to open their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign on Thursday.

It was Uruguay's first victory in 10 World Cup qualifiers in the energy sapping thin air at the Hernando Siles stadium in the capital, 3,650 metres above sea level where they had lost 4-1 on their last visit in December 2012.

Uruguay scored in each half through defenders Martin Caceres and Diego Godin and Bolivia finished the match with 10 men after Jair Torrico was sent off in the 71st minute for a second yellow card after a foul on Jose Maria Gimenez.

Caceres put Uruguay ahead in the 10th minute when he fired the loose ball into the roof of the net from the right after goalkeeper Daniel Vaca had dived to palm away Abel Hernandez's header from a cross by Carlos Sanchez.

Captain Godin headed the second in the 69th from another cross by right winger Sanchez as Uruguay controlled a ragged Bolivia who were playing their first competitive match under coach Julio Cesar Baldivieso.

Yasmani Duk came close to equalising in the first half when his shot hit the bar and Uruguay lost midfielder Cristian Rodriguez to injury in the 36th minute with defender Camilo Mayada taking his place.

Coach Oscar Tabarez watched from the stands, serving a suspension for protesting at refereeing decisions during Uruguay's Copa America quarter-final defeat by Chile in Santiago in June.

Cavani was suspended for two matches by organisers Conmebol for his part in an incident in that match, while Suarez is still serving a nine-match Fifa ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at last year's World Cup finals in Brazil.