On Saturday night, Peru defeated Uruguay 5-4 on penalty kicks to book their place in the semi-finals of the Copa America after a goalless draw in 90 minutes. Uruguay headed into the clash as big favourites to make the last four but failed to make it past the Peruvians.
Suarez misses crucial spot-kick
It could have been so different for Uruguay, as Oscar Tabarez’s team saw three goals disallowed. Edinson Cavani, Giorgian de Arrascaeta and Luis Suarez all saw goals ruled out for offside after VAR checks.
The Uruguayans frustrated then furthered in the penalty shootout. All the penalty were scored until Uruguay’s final penalty kick, as Barcelona star Luis Suarez missed his spot-kick to send Peru into the last four. The experienced forward was visibly upset, as he put his head in his shirt. The tears flowed from the emotional forward.
Three of the four quarter-finals of the Copa America were decided on penalty kicks, after some highly tight clashes. Peru will go on to face neighbours Chile in the semi-finals of the competition where they will be major underdogs to progress.
Uruguay defender Diego Godin was disappointed with his teams finishing, saying after the game “We were just missing a goal, we kept looking for it but it didn’t come and if we had scored it would have been a different game. We played well, but unfortunately we’ve been knocked out. We couldn’t score and they struck their penalties better than we did.”
Many fancied the 15 times winners to lift the trophy once again in Brazil. However, it was not to be for Suarez and co.
The semi-finals must be better
In terms of entertainment, the Copa America quarter-finals were not great. The last four clashes should provide a bit more excitement.
The big clash is obviously of the two South American heavyweights of Brazil and Argentina. Both sides have done just enough to secure passage into the semi-finals. However, they have not really excelled so far in the competition.
Neither teams’ big players have turned up. The likes of Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus for Brazil have struggled to make an impact, as has Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi. Argentina’s struggles may come as little surprise, as La Albiceleste have failed to show up in many major international tournaments in the last two decades. They are known as the nearly men in the Copa America, having finished as runners-up in the four of the last five tournaments.
Brazil have not won the competition since 2007. That particular tournament was also the last time the Selecao appeared in a Copa America final. They have won the tournament all four occasions that they have hosted and will be looking to continue that fine record in this clash.
Chile have become Copa America specialists. They are now looking to make it three triumphs in a row at the competition. Peru may have beaten Uruguay, but the holders will be highly confident of seeing off their threat to make it through to their third straight final.
Who will come out on top in the Copa America semi-finals?