PHOENIX: Rafael Marquez and Hector Herrera scored late goals as Mexico battled to a 3-1 victory over Uruguay in a lively Copa America Centenario clash.
Uruguay must have felt the fates were against them when the organisers played the wrong national anthem before kickoff.
The Celeste, missing the injured Luis Suarez, fell behind early on when Alvaro Pereira headed into his own net and were then reduced to 10 men after Matias Vecino’s first-half dismissal.
Mexico, who had Andres Guardado sent off in the second half, were pegged back by Diego Godin’s header before Marquez rifled home in the 85th minute and Herrera nodded in a third in added time to settle the Group C contest.
The Mexicans were ahead after just four minutes when Pereira headed into his own net from Guardado’s superb left-wing cross. Facing his own goal, the Uruguay defender inadvertently sent the ball flying past keeper Fernando Muslera under pressure from Mexico midfielder Herrera.
El Tri kept up the pressure and could have doubled their lead had Javier Aquino found the corner rather than shooting straight at Duslera moments later.
Edinson Cavani, an isolated figure up front for Uruguay for most of the contest, was foiled by Alfredo Talavera on the half-hour mark in his best chance of the first half.
However, the Celeste’s task was to become even harder when Vecino was given a second yellow card on the stroke of half-time.
Despite being a player light, Uruguay remained in the contest and Cavani almost bundled home a corner on 49 minutes.
Diego Rolan then sliced a glorious opportunity wide after a great run from Godin and a neat pass from Cavani, but Uruguay were soon level.
Guardado’s second yellow card on 73 minutes was immediately punished by Godin, who rose highest to head home Carlos Sanchez’s resulting free-kick.
Mexico were stunned into life and, five minutes from time, Marquez fired into the top corner from 10 yards.
There was still time for a third Mexico goal when Herrera sealed the points with a close-range header from Raul Jimenez’s neat flick.