Uruguay, Peru into Copa America semis

Uruguay beat hosts Argentina 5-4 on penalties on Saturday and will now meet Peru in a surprise Copa America semi-final.The win came against the odds as Uruguay were forced to play with 10 men for 80 minutes, while Argentina’s Javier Mascherano was also sent off three minutes from the end of normal time, leaving both sides down to 10 men in extra time.

Diego Perez, who could have been sent off for a rash challenge in the opening minutes, scored the opening goal after just six minutes to stun the home crowd in Santa Fe.

But just 12 minutes later, Argentina equalised through Gonzalo Higuain, who converted Lionel Messi’s assist.

Perez received his second yellow card with six minutes of the first half to play, but Argentina could not capitalise, before Mascherano was handed his second yellow card in the 87th minute.

After a goalless spell of extra time, the match went to penalties; with only substitute Carlos Tevez missing from the spot.

Tevez’s penalty was low and to the left of Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, who dived to make the save.

The rest of the penalties were all well-taken and Tevez will rue his mistake, as Argentina’s hopes of winning their 15th Copa America title, and their first since 1993, died.

Peru needed extra time to beat Colombia 2-0.

The best chance in regulation time fell to Colombian striker Radamel Falcao from the penalty spot, but he fired wide.

The Colombians also struck the woodwork twice before extra-time goals from Carlos Lobaton and Juan Manuel Vargas gave Peru the surprise win.

Colombia had dominated in extra time, but that changed in the 101st minute when Luis Enrique Martinez failed to deal with a cross.

The ball dropped to the 31-year-old who rifled home from 18 yards out to give his side a 1-0 lead.

Vargas lashed a shot into the top corner in 112th minute to certify his team’s extended stay in Argentina.

 


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