Forlan fires Uruguay to brink of Confed semis
The result continued Uruguay's undefeated record against African opponents in 12 encounters and left them hot favourites to join Spain in the last four.
Nigeria must now beat the reigning world champions and hope Uruguay falter against minnows Tahiti.
Both teams lined up attacking formations with Nigeria playing a conventional 4-3-3 and Uruguay playing Suarez, Forlan and Cavani together for the first time in the tournament.
Neither team were able to impose themselves for long periods, however, and there were few clear cut chances in an often lackluster match.
It was Uruguay who took the lead in the 19th minute when captain Diego Lugano was on hand to bundle a low cross from Forlan into the net.
Nigeria slowly came into the game and they equalised in the 37th minute when John Obi Mikel controlled a Brown Ideye pass to side-foot the ball into the top of the net from 12 yards.
Uruguay went ahead again in the 51st minute and it was a move that involved all three of their front men. Luis Suarez broke from midfield, fed Edinson Cavani outside the box and he passed to Diego Forlan who hammered the ball into the roof of the net from an angle.
Nigeria saw plenty of the ball in the second half but they seldom threatened Fernando Muslera in goal.
The best chance of the second period fell to Cavani who chested down a lovely cross-field pass from Forlan but then blazed his shot over.
The 49,000-capacity arena was less than half-full before kick-off, with some fans unable to reach the ground because of violent protests outside, according to local media.