CUIABA, Brazil (Reuters) -An own goal from Chile's Arturo Vidal midway through the second half gave Uruguay their first goal in five games and granted them a point in a gripping 1-1 Copa America encounter on Monday.
Between them, Chile and Uruguay have won three of the last four Copa America tournaments, but both sides have failed to set this tournament alight. Uruguay did not get a shot on target in their opening 1-0 loss to Argentina, while Chile scraped a draw with Argentina then laboured to beat Bolivia 1-0.
Both teams, thankfully, showed a bit more verve on a hot and humid night in central Brazil.
Chile started the better side and went ahead after 26 minutes thanks to Eduardo Vargas. Vargas worked a nice one-two with Ben Brereton before lashing an unstoppable shot past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
It was Vargas' 14th goal in the tournament, making him the joint fifth-top goal scorer, only three goals behind the leaders on 17.
Uruguay had not scored in their last four games before tonight but they grew as the game went on and got a deserved equaliser midway through the second half.
Matias Vecino nodded a corner into the six-yard box and as Luis Suarez grappled with Vidal the ball was knocked into the roof of the net.
The goal was first given to Suarez but then classed as an own goal and Vidal was replaced moments later after complaining he had been fouled by his former team mate at Barcelona.
There had been some controversy ahead of the game, with Chile admitting some of their players – Vidal was later named as one – breaking the bubble set up to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Uruguay got more on top as the game went on and pushed forward in search of a winner, with Suarez and Edinson Cavani both coming close.
But neither side could get a decisive goal and so Chile move into top spot in Group A with five points from three games, one ahead of Argentina, who play Paraguay later on Monday.
Paraguay have three points from one game, while Uruguay have one and Bolivia are pointless after two. The top four from each five-team group qualify for the quarter-finals.
(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Kim Coghill)