Fifteen-times Copa América champions Uruguay suffered a heartbreaking quarterfinal exit to Peru on Saturday. The departure was more distressing as Luis Suárez missed in the shootout and they had three goals ruled out in a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes. The shootout score stood as 5-4 in favor of Peru.
What took place?
Suarez missed the first penalty as his shot rebounded the Peru goalkeeper, Pedro Gallese’s chest. All players from both the teams were able to convert their penalty except Suárez. This resulted in Uruguay exiting the tournament after quarterfinals.
Peru striker’s reaction
“I am very proud. I am speechless. Lots of people said we don’t have the desire, some people tried to destabilize the squad, but we showed what we are capable of on the pitch, we showed we have fighting spirit and courage.” Peru striker Paolo Guerrero told reporters after scoring in the shootout. “People said before Uruguay were the favorites, but being favorites means nothing in football, especially in South America.”
Peru’s next game is against neighbors Chile in the semifinal with Chile favorites going into the game. The second semifinal fixture would see tournament hosts Brazil clashing against arch-rivals Argentina.
Post Match responses
After the defeat, Uruguay defender Diego Godín commented, “We were 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.”
Throughout the match, Uruguay was the more dominant side, but their three goals were accredited as offside.
After the match, Suárez was shown support by his former Barcelona teammate, Neymar. “Get up,” Brazil forward wrote on his Instagram story, alongside a video of Suarez crying.
“You are very great, brother. I love you, friend.”
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 29, 2019
Suárez and Uruguay will only have to wait one year for a chance at redemption, with Copa America switching to even-year tournaments. Let’s hope both Uruguay and Suárez recover from the loss soon and are back to their winning habits.