The latest games in the Copa America took place in the early hours of Friday and Saturday. Here are is what happened in those crucial clashes in Brazil:
Japan hold Uruguay to draw
In the early hours of Friday, Uruguay had to come back from behind twice to draw 2-2 against Japan. The draw delayed La Celeste’s official progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Japan took the lead after 25 minutes, as striker Koji Miyoshi produced a good finish after a good team move. The South American giants levelled the scores on 32 minutes through a very harsh penalty decision.
Edinson Cavani appeared to kick Japanese defender Naomichi Ueda, only for the referee to point to the penalty spot, which to the frustration of the Asian team. Luis Suarez stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.
Japan saw a very credible penalty appeal turned down when centre-back Jose Gimenez looked to have fouled Shoya Nakajima. However, the competition invitees took the lead just before the hour mark. Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera parried a cross away, only for Miyoshi to react the quickest and find the net.
The South American side restored parity on 66 minutes, as Gimenez found some space from a corner kick to head home. Oscar Tabarez’s team came the closest to finding a winner when Luis Suarez smashed a powerful effort against the crossbar.
The draw means that Uruguay only needs a draw against group leaders Chile in their final game to guarantee a spot in the quarter-finals. Uruguay are now the second favourites to lift the trophy this summer in Brazil.
Chile books their place in the last eight
In the early hours of Saturday, Chile booked their place in the last eight of the competition by recording a 2-1 win over Ecuador at the Arena Fonte Nova.
Chile made a good start by taking the lead on eight minutes, as Jose Fuenzalida fired home with a powerful effort after Ecuador failed to clear a corner kick.
However, Ecuador levelled the scores on 26 minutes. Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias brought Jhegson Mendez down in the area and former Everton striker Enner Valencia fired home with the resulting spot-kick. The goal was Valencia’s 29th of a highly productive international career.
Chile took the lead six minutes into the second period. Charles Aranguiz found some space and his centre found Alexis Sanchez at the back post. The Manchester United forward then made no mistake and side-footed home.
Chile forward Erik Pulgar forced a good save from Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez on 64 minutes. Chile continued to control the game and Ecuador saw Gabriel Achilier dismissed on 89 minutes.
The victory means that Chile only needs a draw against Uruguay in the final game to top the Group C. Topping the group would mean that they would face a third-place finisher in the quarter-finals of the competition. Sanchez and co. cannot be ruled out of winning the Copa America for a third straight campaign.
Who will finish top of Group C at the Copa America?