Uruguay 8 (Hernandez 2, 24, 45+1, 67 pen, Perez 27, Lodeiro 61, Suarez, 82, 90)
Arena Pernambuco, Recife. Temp. 25°C, wind 10 mph, passing clouds. Referee: Pedro Proença (Portugal)
Uruguay: Silva, Scotti, Pereira A, Coates, Aguirregaray, Perez, Eguren, Gargano, Lodeiro, Ramirez (Suarez 69), Hernandez.
Tahiti: Meriel, Ludivion, Tehau J, Vallar, Simon, Tehau L (Atani 71), Caroine, Aitamai (Lemaire 53), Hnanyine (Tihoni 88), Vahirua, Chong-Hue.
It was an action packed ninety minutes at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife as Uruguay put eight goals past the hapless Tahiti to qualify for the semi finals of the 2013 Confederations Cup as Group B runners up. As well as the eight goals, there were two red cards and two penalties as the Portuguese referee was kept busy throughout. Tahiti return home with no points and a minus twenty three goal difference, but they have won plenty of friends and will always cherish the memory of the goal they scored in their opening game against Nigeria.
Going through the action in chronological order, it started with the first goal of the night for Palermo striker Abel Hernandez in only the second minute. Hernandez had been handed the chance to lead the line as Uruguay manager Oscar Washington Tabarez rested his first choice striking triumvirate of Cavani, Forlan and Suarez, and he certainly grabbed his chance to impress. He scored his second in the twenty fourth minute and sealed his hat-trick on the stroke of half time to make it four nil, with Diego Perez having grabbed the third in the twenty seventh minute.
It should have been 5-0 five minutes after the restart, but veteran Nacional defender Andres Scotti, who was charged with taking a penalty, saw his spot kick saved by Tahiti goalkeeper Gilbert Meriel, much to the delight of the twenty two thousand crowd. Things got worse for the centre-back a minute later when he picked up his second yellow card of the match and was dismissed by referee Pedro Proença. However, Tahiti were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage before they two were reduced to ten men when their defender Teheivarii Ludivion was sent off for his second booking.
Then the floodgates opened again – firstly Botafogo’s Nicolas Lodeiro scored to finally make it five nil and six minutes later Uruguay were awarded a second penalty, which Abel Hernandez dispatched to make it six and score his own fourth goal of the game. Things got even worse for Tahiti when Luis Suarez came off the bench and the striker was soon set up by Lodeiro to make it seven nil before adding the eighth in the final minute. His second goal took him one clear of Diego Forlan as Uruguay’s all time top scorer. Uruguay will now play the hosts, Brazil, in the first semi final in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday.