RECIFE, Brazil, June 24 – Uruguay secured their place in the Confederations Cup semi-finals with an 8-0 drubbing of Tahiti, featuring the fastest goal in the competition’s history.
The Confed Cup record-breaker at Recife’s Arena Pernambuco was Abel Hernandez, the Palermo striker heading in off Nicolas Lodeiro’s corner after just 79 seconds.
He went on to bag four, with Diego Perez, Lodeiro and Luis Suarez with a double, joining him on the scoresheet.
With this result following their record 10-0 loss to Spain and 6-1 defeat to Nigeria, Tahiti take their leave of the competition while Uruguay go on to face hosts Brazil in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday.
Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez had changed his entire starting XI for the South American champions’ decisive first round match.
Star forwards Diego Forlan, Suarez and Edinson Cavani were all named on the bench, while Bologna midfielder Perez inherited the captain’s armband from suspended centre-back Diego Lugano.
Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta made four alterations to the team thrashed 10-0 by Spain last Thursday, with goalkeeper Gilbert Meriel, Lorenzo Tehau, Vincent Simon and Samuel Hnanyine coming into the team.
Four-goal hero Hernandez doubled up in the 24th minute with a skilful side-footed volley past Tahiti keeper Gilbert Meriel, with Perez adding a third before the half hour was up.
It was not all one way traffic, with Tahiti’s only professional, Marama Vahirua, testing Uruguay keeper Martin with a 25 yard strike.
Steevy Chong Hue was then unlucky not to capitalise on a solo run through the Uruguayan defence.
In first half stoppage time Hernandez bagged his third, picking up a pass from Inter Milan’s Walter Gargano to foil Meriel.
There was drama after the restart, when Andres Scotti’s penalty was saved by Meriel. Scotti was then sent off after the defender picked up a second booking.
Tahiti also went down to ten men when Teheivarii Wagemann picked up his second yellow on the hour mark – a minute later Lodeiro made it 5-0.
Hernandez got his fourth from the penalty spot as Suarez came on for Gaston Ramirez with 20 minutes left to bolster Uruguay’s attack and finish off the rout with a late double.