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Uruguay knock Brazil out on penalties to move into Copa America semi-finals

Uruguay knock Brazil out on penalties to move into Copa America semi-finals
7 July 2024 10:23

LONDON (Reuters) 

Uruguay edged Brazil 4-2 in a penalty shootout on Saturday after going down to 10 men in a bruising 0-0 draw at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas to march into the semi-finals of the Copa America where they will face Colombia.

With Vinicius Jr suspended for Brazil and watching on from the stands, Dorival Jr's side struggled to create opportunities despite having a man-advantage late in the second half when Uruguay's Nahitan Nandez was sent off.

In the ensuing shootout, Sergio Rochet saved Brazil's first penalty from Eder Militao while his teammate Douglas Luiz hit the post to give Uruguay the upper hand.

Although keeper Alisson Becker denied Jose Maria Gimenez and Gabriel Martinelli scored to keep Brazil alive, Manuel Ugarte buried the decisive spot kick as Uruguay continue their quest for a record 16th Copa crown.

"It was a very tense match, against a very tough opponent, suffering in the last minutes a man down. But we showed character despite our youth," Rochet said.
"To finish with penalties and winning, I was able to save one... The truth is that it is a tremendous happiness that this group deserves, the country deserves it. We are very excited, so we are going for more."

In a bruising encounter with 41 fouls from both teams, players from both sides were involved in physical battles across the pitch.

Brazil's 17-year-old forward Endrick was on the receiving end of brutal challenges as a high-pressing Uruguay refused to give him space to breathe.

On one occasion, Raphinha acted out when Endrick was pushed to the ground by Ronald Araujo as the Brazil skipper retaliated in anger by shoving back before the referee stepped in and had a stern word with both players, keeping his cards in his pocket.

But Araujo's night ended early when he was taken off with an injury after the half-hour mark and the match suddenly burst into life moments later when Darwin Nunez missed a close range header.

Within seconds, Raphinha saw his shot on a counter-attack thwarted by keeper Rochet, Brazil's best chance of the half.

Red Card on Review 

With Uruguay unable to find a way through, coach Marcelo Bielsa made three substitutions by the 67th minute but his plans were thrown into disarray when Nandez saw red following a VAR review for a painful tackle on Rodrygo.

Nandez attempted to take the ball off the Brazilian with a studs-up challenge but only ended up catching his ankle, but the Real Madrid winger escaped any serious injury and was able to continue.

However, Brazil could not score against 10 men as Uruguay sat back in numbers and shut shop, opting to try their luck in the penalty shootout with no extra-time in the Copa America apart from the final.

For Brazil, it is a second straight quarter-final exit via penalties in a major tournament following their 2022 World Cup loss to Croatia.

"We want to put Brazil at the top, we will continue working and preparing for the World Cup (qualifiers)," Endrick said.

"We know that this is a difficult moment, but we hope to have the support of all Brazilians."

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