London: Luis Suarez scored an equaliser and was just wide with what could have been a spectacular winner as Uruguay were held to a 3-3 draw by Costa Rica in a friendly.
The Costa Ricans, who stunned Uruguay 3-1 in their World Cup opener in Brazil in June, levelled Thursday’s match at the Centenario through substitute Johan Venegas in the final minute.
Suarez will by mutual agreement with coach Oscar Tabarez miss Uruguay’s next friendly against 2015 Copa America hosts Chile in Santiago on Tuesday.
“We all know what Luis means to us but we know we won’t have him at the Copa America so it’s good to look for alternatives to get used to playing without him,” Uruguay captain Diego Godin told reporters.
Suarez is serving a nine-match suspension from competitive international football for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
Alvaro Saborio headed Costa Rica, now coached by former striker Paulo Wanchope, into the lead five minutes before halftime.
Suarez, playing at home for his country for the first time since his ban, took Cristian Rodriguez’s pass on his chest and turned to fire past Keylor Navas in the 49th minute.
Costa Rica went ahead again within a minute through Bryan Ruiz before Uruguay turned the match around with goals from central defender Jose Maria Gimenez and striker Edinson Cavani.
Suarez’s shot across the face off goal just missed the target in the 88th minute and Costa Rica, having equalised, won the Copa Antel 7-6 on penalties.
Carlos Sanchez, who plays for Argentine league leaders River Plate, had a fine debut for Uruguay on the right wing but coach Oscar Tabarez’s side, always dangerous on the attack, were shaky in defence.