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Copa America 2011: Argentina Lost to Uruguay in Penalties, Out of Competition

Copa America 2011 suffered a jolt in the Quarter Final when host Argentina lost to Uruguay 5-4 in a Penalty shot out after the 1-1 deadlock could not be broken after 120 minutes of action. With Carlos Tavez failing to convert from the spot, Argentina are out of the Copa America 2011.

Diego Parez put Uruguay ahead in the 5th minute of the game before Gonzalo Higuin scored off a Messi’s brilliance in the 18th minute to level the score. There after, both the team created chances for themselves but failed to convert. The ill tempered match also witness Uruguay’s goal scorer Parez sent off in the 39th minute after a double booking. Later on in the 87th minute, Argentina’s Javier Mascherano was also handed out the marching order for a double yellow.

Fighting for the ball

Argentina went all out in the attacked right from the beginning and took just three minutes to take their first shot at the goal following a beautiful run by Sergio Aguero. However, Diego Perez drew the first blood for Uruguay after couple of minutes, when Forlan’s freekick from near centre, was headed back to him before he put it across the goal line.

It was during the 18th minute when Lionel Messi evaded a few tackles in the midfield and gave an inch perfect through ball to Gonzalo Higuain who found the back of the net with his head. The host continued to dominate the possession by moving around the ball but Uruguay relied on counter attack whenever they get the ball, and tried to find Luis Suarez. They relied more on set pieces and always looked threatening against the Argentinean back-line.

Higuain seems to have done it again little later, but was marginally offside and the goal was disallowed. Similarly Martin Caceres smashed home a rebound from a free-kick but was denied by the lines man, while Diego Lugano came within an inch of netting the second when his header bounced back off the bar.

However after the first half, Uruguay did slowed down the game, a logical step given the numerical disadvantage. Batista‘s boys kept creating chances but failed to covert it. The best chances came when Di Maria smashed over after a great cross from Javier Mascherano, while Zabaleta and Messi also threatened without causing any damage to Uruguay.

Uruguay also came up with few chances when Lugano headed Forlan’s cross over the bar just after Batista introduced Pastore. That was followed by a heart-stopping moment for home fans, when Sergio Romero had to stop Forlan clear through.

With neither able to break the deadlock, the match entered extra time where both the team created chances again but with no outcome. A poor clearance from Nicolas Burdisso gave Alvaro Pereira a half-chance, and his shot went barely over the cross-bar. Higuain also smashed one against the post with just Muslera to beat. Pastore and Higuain then went close in the second period, but could not prevent the absorbing match going into penalties.

Messi was the first to take the penalty and fired it on to the right post with Muslera diving the other way. Forlan, Burdiso and Suarez all scored from the spot before Tavez’s power shot was stopped by diving Muslera. Scotti, Pastore, Gargano and Higuain all converted their kicks to leave the shoot-out poised at 4-4 before Caceres converted the final kick to send Uruguay into the semi-final 5-4 on penalties.

Uruguay will be up against Peru in the Semi-Final who earlier defeated Colombia 2-0 in an extra time after none of them could break the deadlock in the 90 minutes.

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