Uruguay Beats Brazil On Penalties in the Copa America 2024

Uruguay Beats Brazil
Uruguay Beats Brazil (Credit: Getty Images)

After a dog-eat-dog duel, Uruguay defeated Brazil 4-2 on penalties (0-0 in regular time) on Saturday and qualified for the semifinals of the 2024 Copa America, where they will face Colombia.

Goalkeeper Sergio Rochet saved the first penalty from Eder Militao and Douglas Luiz hit the post for the third at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Although Uruguayan Jose Maria Gimenez also missed a shot, Manuel Ugarte converted the fifth penalty of the series and gave Marcelo Bielsa’s Celeste the qualification to the semi-finals.

On Wednesday, Uruguay will face Colombia, a powerful team that defeated Panama 5-0 in another quarterfinal matchup, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Also Read: England Did Not Fail on Penalties to Beat Switzerland to the Semi-Finals of Euro 2024

In Las Vegas, the Uruguayan team took a hard-fought victory in a match they entered as favourites due to their impeccable performance in the first phase and the absence of Vinicius Jr. due to suspension.

In a tough South American classic, Uruguay played the final stretch of the match with one less player due to the expulsion of full-back Nahitan Nandez in the 73rd minute for a hard tackle on Rodrygo.

Uruguay also lost Ronald Araujo, the captain of its defence, due to injury after just half an hour of play.

Brazil, who had been disappointing so far in the tournament, improved their performance when few expected it and even enjoyed two clear chances from Raphinha to tip the victory in their favour.

The match also saw the first start for Brazil by 17-year-old gem Endrick, replacing Vinicius Jr.

Real Madrid’s new striker, the second youngest Brazilian player to play in the Copa America, was very active in the 90 minutes but was unable to score a goal for Vini, who watched the game from the stands accompanied by NBA star Joel Embiid.

The match was played in a great atmosphere at the modern Allegiant Stadium, where the 55,770 fans, with a balance of fans, were sheltered from the suffocating heat that exceeded 46° Celsius in the capital of the game.

Araujo’s injury

In the exotic setting of Las Vegas, Uruguayans and Brazilians experienced the 80th episode of a historic rivalry that provided unforgettable chapters such as the ‘Maracanazo’ of the 1950 World Cup.

The two neighbours had a tense opening few minutes, which were interrupted by constant fouls.

Endrick’s hyperactivity was the main risk that the rearguard led by Araújo had to deal with, and he soon had his first clashes with his future rival in the Spanish classics.

With the ball stopped, Araujo gave Endrick a strong push from behind and earned a reprimand from his Barcelona teammate Raphinha.

Araujo had to leave the pitch after half an hour after being injured in a non-contact play, in which he was trying to block a cross from the left by Guilherme Arana.

After the centre-back came out, the two main chances of the first half followed, starting with a dangerous Uruguayan cross that Darwin Nunez headed wide with his shoulder.

Raphinha then produced a great individual move in which he faced Sergio Rochet, but the Uruguayan goalkeeper saved his shot with a saving hand.

The game opened up more in the second half, allowing for the arrival of second-line players like Federico Valverde.

The two fan groups joined together to bring the iconic wave to the stands of this NFL stadium, but on the pitch, the aggression did not diminish.

Argentine referee Dario Herrera resisted using cards as much as possible, but after a VAR review, he gave a straight red card for a fierce tackle by Nahitan Nandez on Rodrygo’s ankle.

To exploit the advantage, Dorival Junior quickly made four changes, refreshing the entire attack with the exception of Endrick.

The Brazilian prodigy, with a shot that was too central with six minutes remaining, burned the last Brazilian cartridge before the penalty shoot-out.

Valverde opened the scoring for Uruguay, with Rodrigo Bentancur, Giorgian De Arrascaeta and the decisive goal from Ugarte also scoring, while Brazil only scored through Andreas Pereira and Gabriel Martinelli.

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