2XDNMR7 Uruguay's Darwin Nunez celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal against Panama during a Copa America Group C soccer match in Miami Gardens, Fla, Sunday, June 23, 2024.(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Darwin Nunez off the mark at Copa America with stunning volley for Uruguay

Darwin Nunez kept up his ridiculous scoring streak for Uruguay with a brilliant volley in their Copa America opener, beating Panama 3-1 on Sunday night.

As one of four Liverpool players on duty at Copa America – hosted by the United States – Nunez was the latest in action as Uruguay faced Panama in Group C.

The 25-year-old led the line for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, with Luis Suarez on the bench despite his team-mate handing him back his No. 9 shirt.

It was a dominant performance from Uruguay, who took the fight to Panama from the first whistle and took the lead within 15 minutes.

Nunez played his part in the goal, with his dummy and decoy run giving Maximiliano Araujo the space to curl an outstanding effort into the top corner.

He tested goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera himself on a number of occasions, including a powerful drive from the edge of the box after turning into space.

According to FotMob, Nunez attempted more shots than any other player on the night (five), but also missed the most big chances (two).

Mosquera was eventually beaten again in the 85th minute, with Araujo’s header blocked into Nunez’s path for a volley fired in with his left foot.

It kept up a scoring streak for Uruguay that has seen Liverpool’s No. 9 score nine goals in his last six appearances for his country.

2T7PJ2K Uruguay's Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Argentina during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Overall since Bielsa took over, Nunez has nine goals and three assists in eight games, averaging a goal contribution every 51.7 minutes.

Uruguay added another through Matias Vina late on, with Michael Amir Murillo’s last-minute curler a mere consolation for Panama.

The win sees Uruguay join the United States on three points after the opening round of fixtures in Group C, with Bolivia up next on Thursday night.

Nunez should continue to play a key role for his country at the tournament, with Arne Slot left to plot how to coax the same prolific form out of his £85 million striker at club level.