Nicolas Lodeiro drove Uruguay in their impressive 4-0 drubbing of Ecuador in La Celeste's opening match of the 2019 Copa América, scoring an incredible goal, assisting on two others and sustaining a foul that led to an early red card for Jose Quinteros.
Lodeiro's appearance in the starting XI in Minas Gerais, Brazil set off some grumbling among pundits questioning his value to the side. But the Seattle Sounders star made light of the doubters just six minutes in when he took down a cross from Luis Suarez, lifted the ball away from a defender and deposited a tidy low finish into the bottom right corner to give Uruguay a dream start.
Not long after, Lodeiro was on the receiving end of a high elbow in an aerial challenge that doomed Quinteros to an early shower. Then he headed a corner kick back across the Ecuador penalty box to set the stage for Edinson Cavani's acrobatic scissors kick, and just before halftime he delivered the corner that led to Suarez's strike for a 3-0 advantage.
Lodeiro and La Celeste return to action vs. Japan on Thursday in Porto Alegre.