Friday, June 10, 2016

Copa America Centenario Day 7: Venezuela upsets Uruguay, makes quarterfinals with Mexico

Uruguay 0-1 Venezuela
Still no Luis Suarez for Uruguay as they looked to rebound from their late defeat at the hands of Mexico. One would think Venezuela was a good opponent for such a rebound, except Uruguay struggled through the first half and conceded to Solomon Rondon in the 36th minute to find themselves down a goal at the break.

Uruguay was in control for most of the second half and had plenty of chances to go along with it. The sad part was that Edinson Cavani, probably their best scorer without Suarez in the team, was horrible shooting on the day. Among his plethora of missed chances was one in the dying minutes where he cut across the box and launched a shot from the penalty spot that should have hammered the goal on any given day. Instead, it whistled wide and Uruguay were sunk.

It was frustrating for Suarez, who must not have been told that he was listed as out of the team. The Barcelona star was seen warming up on the sidelines expecting to come in.When he was told he could not play thanks to his pregame status, he was visibly angry while removing his boots and slamming them to the turf.

The Copa America Centenario will go down as a rough experience for Uruguay, who are now eliminated thanks to Mexico's expected result below. On the flip side of the Uruguayan anguish is the elation coming from Venezuela. The baseball mad nation finds themselves in the quarterfinals. The only South American side to never qualify for a World Cup are past the group stage for the third time in the last four Copa Americas.

Mexico 2-0 Jamaica
Mexico had an emotional win over Uruguay and now they joined their home crowd at a sold out Rose Bowl to easily dispose of Jamaica and make their way into the quarterfinals. It perhaps wasn't as comfortable as El Tri would have liked, but they did control much of the game on their way to a 2-0 win. Chicharito got the first one of the night with a well placed header in the 18th minute. While Mexico controlled the run of play, Jamaica did have a couple of counter attacking chances that ended in failure. The second goal came from Oribe Peralta in the 81st minute. That was the one that sealed Mexico's spot in the quarterfinals.

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