June 17 (UPI) -- Barcelona's Luis Suarez and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani each scored first half goals to help Uruguay to a 4-0 thrashing of Ecuador in the group stage of the 2019 Copa America.
Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the victory Sunday at Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Suarez assisted the Uruguayan winger in the sixth minute of the Group C clash. Suarez lofted a ball into the box during the scoring sequence. Lodeiro stabbed at the ball and juggled around a defender, before finishing with a shot into the far-post netting.
Cavani's goal came next. Lodeiro headed a corner kick feed into the box in the 33rd minute. Uruguay fullback Diego Godin then hit another header into the center of the box. Cavani dove onto the ground for a scissor kick attempt. The crafty shot resulted in a score into the far-post netting, giving Uruguay a 2-0 edge.
Right back Martin Caceres assisted Suarez's score in the 44th minute. Loderio sent a corner kick in from the left side during that sequence. Caceres deflected the cross to the far post, where Suarez poked it into the near-post netting.
An Arturo Mina own goal proved the be the final score of the game, with the Ecuadorian defender making the mistake in the 78th minute.
Uruguay battles Japan in its second Group C matchup at 7 p.m. Thursday in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Ecuador faces Chile in another Group C clash at 7 p.m. Friday in Salvador, Brazil.
Uruguay tops Group C with Chile and Japan yet to play their first games of the tournament. Columbia and Brail also earned wins in the first round. Peru, Venezuela, Paraguay and Qatar began their Copa America campaigns with draws. Bolivia and Argentina lost their first-round matches.