Uruguay shrugged off the absence of star strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to score a historic first ever away win over Bolivia in their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign opener on Thursday.
Goals in each half from Martin Caceres and Diego Godin clinched a clinical 2-0 victory for the Uruguayans, who had never beaten Bolivia in the thin air of La Paz before in five previous attempts.
The win was all the more impressive for Uruguay, who were without Barcelona star Suarez, still suspended for his infamous bite on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup last year.
Paris Saint-Germain striker Cavani was also out through a suspension following his clash with Chile’s Gonzalo Jara at the Copa America in June.
With so much attacking talent unavailable, it was no surprise that Uruguay’s goals came through their defensive linchpins Caceres and Godin. Caceres tucked away Uruguay’s first on 10 minutes, hammering home after a header had cannoned off the woodwork.
Godin added the second in the 69th minute, heading in a looping cross to all but guarantee his side’s victory.