MONTEVIDEO, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Luis Suarez made his eagerly awaited return to South American club football on Tuesday as his team Nacional suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Atletico Goianiense in their Copa Sudamericana quarterfinal first leg.
Luiz Fernando put the Brazilian side ahead against the run of play with a 23rd-minute header after being set up by Leo Pereira.
Nacional controlled more than two-thirds of possession but lacked a cutting edge until Suarez was introduced as a 74th-minute replacement for Franco Fagundez.
The former Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward made an immediate impact in his first appearance since rejoining his boyhood club on a free transfer last week.
The 35-year-old quickly dismissed concerns about his lack of recent matches with some impressive touches and clever runs behind Goianiense's defense.
He almost put the hosts on level terms in the 90th minute when he sent a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Juan Ignacio Ramirez, whose subsequent shot rebounded off the woodwork.
The return fixture will be played in Goiania on August 9.