Uruguay earn opening Copa America win as Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez gets on the scoresheet in 3-1 victory against Panama

Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez helped Uruguay hit the ground running at the Copa America after scoring late on in their opening 3-1 win over Panama.

After group rivals USA earned a 2-0 win over Bolivia earlier in the evening, Marcelo Bielsa’s men knew the pressure was on to get off the mark in their curtain-raiser at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.

And thanks to goals from Maximiliano Araujo, Nunez and Matias Vina, they cruised to a straightforward victory against Panama in Florida, despite conceding a late goal which ultimately proved nothing more than a consolation.

Araujo fired Uruguay in front inside the 16th minute of the game after picking up the ball on the edge of the box and curling a masterful left-footed effort into the top-right corner.

Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez helped Uruguay hit the ground running at the Copa America

Panama worked their way back into the game after falling a goal behind early on in Miami

Panama worked their way back into the game after falling a goal behind early on in Miami

But Nunez and Co ran out comfortable winners in the end after he doubled their lead late on

But Nunez and Co ran out comfortable winners in the end after he doubled their lead late on

Panama huffed and puffed in search of an equalizer after the interval, yet with just under six minutes remaining Nunez pounced on a loose ball in the box and volleyed home to make it 2-0.

Vina then headed home from a Nicolas de la Cruz free kick in stoppage time to add a third for Uruguay, before Michael Amir Murillo popped up with the consolation right at the death.

It means Uruguay take an early lead at the top of Group C, albeit on goals scored after recording one more than USA.

Next up for Bielsa and Co is a clash with Bolivia on Thursday, before they take on the Stars and Stripes in what could be a shootout for top spot on Monday July 1. 

USA produced an equally professional performance earlier in the evening, with goals from Christian Pulisic and Folarin Balogun sealing a two-goal win over Bolivia.

Pulisic was at his brilliant best on the night, also teeing up Balogun for his strike after opening the scoring early in the first half.

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