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Copa America: Suarez’s Penalty Miss Sends Uruguay Packing

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez missed his spot kick during shoot-outs against Peru on Saturday in a quarter-final encounter at Copa America, sending his side crashing out of the tournament.

The fifteen-time champions were knocked out 5-4 on penalties after playing 0-0 after 90 minutes.

There is no extra time in Copa America quarter-finals in the event of a draw, although 30 minutes will be added in the semi-finals and final if necessary.

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Suárez, who took the first kick for the Oscar Tabarez side, directed his kick straight to the chest of Peru goalkeeper, Pedro Gallese, to complete a frustrating evening.

The Uruguay all-time top scorer had earlier in the game had an effort ruled out for offside.

Every other player converted their spot kicks and Edison Flores sealed a place for Peru in the last four, by beating Fernando Muslera.

Peru will face neighbours, Chile, in the last four, with tournament hosts, Brazil, meeting arch rivals Argentina in the other semi-final clash.

“I am very proud. I am speechless,” Peru striker Paolo Guerrero told reporters after scoring in the shootout.

“Lots of people said we don’t have the desire, some people tried to destabilise the squad but we showed what we are capable of on the pitch, we showed we have fighting spirit and courage.

“People said before Uruguay were the favourites but being favourites means nothing in football, especially in South America.”

Uruguay dominated the play during the game, but Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Edinson Cavani and then Suárez all had goals ruled out for offside, which were each verified by VAR.

They became the third team in the tournament to lose a quarter-final tie on penalties after a goalless draw. Paraguay were beaten by Brazil and Chile beat Colombia on spot-kicks.

Uruguay veteran defender, Diego Godín, lamented his side’s inability to convert their chances.

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“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,” he said.

“We played well, but unfortunately we’ve been knocked out. We couldn’t score and they struck their penalties better than we did.”

Uruguay won the Copa America for a record 15th time in 2011, but they have under-achieved in their last three appearances, losing to Chile in the last eight in 2015 and were eliminated in the group stage in 2016.

About Ademola Aderele

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