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Copa America: Uruguay knock Brazil out on penalties

Uruguay advanced to the Copa America semifinals by defeating Brazil 4-2 in a penalty shootout following a tense 0-0 draw at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Despite going down to 10 men late in the second half after Nahitan Nandez’s red card, Uruguay managed to hold off Brazil, who were missing Vinicius Jr due to suspension. The match saw few clear-cut chances, with both teams locked in a physical battle that saw a total of 41 fouls.

In the shootout, Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet saved Eder Militao’s penalty, and Douglas Luiz hit the post for Brazil, giving Uruguay an advantage they capitalized on. Although Alisson Becker saved Jose Maria Gimenez’s attempt and Gabriel Martinelli scored for Brazil, Manuel Ugarte’s successful penalty secured Uruguay’s progression as they aim for their 16th Copa America title.

“It was a tense match against a tough opponent, especially playing with ten men towards the end,” Rochet commented after the match. “Saving a penalty and winning like this brings tremendous happiness to the team and our country. We’re thrilled and looking forward to more.”

The game was marked by physicality, with young Brazilian forward Endrick enduring numerous challenges. Despite tempers flaring at times, including an incident involving Ronald Araujo and Raphinha, the referee managed to keep control without issuing any cards until Nandez’s red card following a VAR review for a tackle on Rodrygo.

With Uruguay’s solid defense holding firm, Brazil struggled to break through even with a numerical advantage in the latter stages of the match. The result marks Brazil’s second consecutive quarterfinal exit via penalties in major tournaments, following their 2022 World Cup defeat to Croatia.

Next, Uruguay will face Colombia in the semifinals in Charlotte, North Carolina, after Colombia’s resounding 5-0 victory over Panama earlier in the day.

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