Uruguay wins 2019 China Cup
Team Uruguay pose for photo on the podium after winning the final of the 2019 China Cup International Football Championship in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on March 25. [Photo by Jia Haocheng/Xinhua]
Uruguay scored an easy 4-0 win over Thailand here on Monday to lift the China Cup in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on March 25.
With coach Oscar Tabarez having picked a near full-strength side, La Celeste were overwhelming favorites to take the win, and they started the match as they meant to go on, taking an early lead through midfielder Matias Vecino's near-post header from a corner, after Gaston Pereiro had forced a save from Thailand goalkeeper Siwarak Tedsungnoen.
Uruguay continued to make all the early running in the first half, with influential captain Diego Godin also venturing forward to join the attack on occasion.
Thailand playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin struggled manfully to drag his team back into the game, but the gulf in class between the two sides was painfully evident, and Uruguay doubled their lead shortly before half-time. Some neat build-up play released Cristian Stuani inside the area, and the Girona striker pulled the ball back to present Pereiro with a tap-in for 2-0.
Rodriguez (L) of Uruguay shoots during the final match between Thailand and Uruguay at the 2019 China Cup International Football Championship in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on March 25. [Photo by Zhou Hua/Xinhua]
The second half began in a similar vein. Siwarak was grateful to find himself clutching the ball after a Stuani effort had rebounded off the post, and any hopes Thailand may have had of reducing the arrears were extinguished just before the hour mark, when Stuani rose highest to power home another near-post header from a corner to make it 3-0.
With the result now in little doubt, both teams took the opportunity to make several changes which contrived to take the sting out of the game. However, there was still time for Lucas Torreira to test Thailand's substitute keeper Chatchai Budprom with a rasping drive, and Peeradon Chamratsamee screwed a shot just wide of Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera's post.
Maxi Gomez then added a late fourth with a deflected effort that bobbled past the unfortunate Chatchai.
Despite his team being comprehensively outplayed, Thailand coach Sirisak Yodyardthai praised the application and endeavor of his players. "I'd like to thank my players who fought well, and to thank Uruguay for giving us the experience of playing against a very strong team. I'd also like to thank China for inviting us to play in the China Cup. The hospitality was very good, and hopefully we will receive an invite again next year."
Uruguay coach Tabarez was gracious in victory, noting the gulf in class between his side and Thailand. "Uruguay has much more footballing history and experience than Thailand. It's impossible to make comparisons between the two teams. I don't feel that I am capable of giving advice to teams like Thailand because everybody has to find their own way in football."
Players of Uruguay celebrate scoring during the final match between Thailand and Uruguay at the 2019 China Cup International Football Championship in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on March 25. [Photo by Zhou Hua/Xinhua]