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Copa America hosts US eliminated after 1-0 defeat by Uruguay

Copa America hosts US eliminated after 1-0 defeat by Uruguay

Tuesday, July 02, 2024, 11:03 GMT+7
Copa America hosts US eliminated after 1-0 defeat by Uruguay
Jul 1, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; United States forward Ricardo Pepi (9) and Uruguay midfielder Nahitan Nandez (8) fight for the ball during the first half of a Copa America match at Arrowhead Stadium. Photo: USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Missouri -- Copa America hosts the United States were bundled out of the tournament at the first hurdle on Monday after a 1-0 defeat by Group C winners Uruguay consigned them to third place and allowed Panama to advance as runners-up.

Defender Mathias Olivera scored to give Uruguay the win that sees them advance to the quarter-finals as group winners, with the South Americans winning three of their first-round matches for the first time since 1959.

Panama's 3-1 win over Bolivia saw them finish second on six points, three ahead of the U.S.

Needing a win to give themselves the best chance of progressing, the U.S. started well but Uruguay grew into the game as the first half wore on and turned the match into a physical contest.

Uruguay lost Maximiliano Araujo in the 27th minute after a coming-together with U.S. defender Tim Ream. The forward had a neck brace fitted before being carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Cristian Olivera.

Jul 1, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; United States defender Joe Scally (22) is tackled by Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez (19) during the first half of a Copa America match at Arrowhead Stadium. Photo: USA TODAY Sports

Jul 1, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; United States defender Joe Scally (22) is tackled by Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez (19) during the first half of a Copa America match at Arrowhead Stadium. Photo: USA TODAY Sports

U.S. striker Folarin Balogun also had to be substituted after appearing to pick up an injury in a nasty collision with Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.

Despite the hosts' early attacking intensity, Uruguay produced the better chances in the first half, nearly taking the lead in the 38th minute when Olivera whipped a dangerous cross into the box but Darwin Nunez shot just wide.

The biggest cheer of the night from the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium came in the second half when Bolivia scored an equaliser against Panama in the other Group C match, briefly moving the U.S. up to second place, but their joy was short-lived.

Uruguay took the lead in the 66th minute as Olivera bundled in a rebound after U.S. goalkeeper Matthew Turner could only parry Ronald Araujo's header back into the box. The goal was given after a lengthy VAR review for offside.

The U.S. had an excellent opportunity to equalise in the 75th minute when Rochet spilled the ball and found himself stranded several metres from the goal but Christian Pulisic's deflected shot was kept out by a goal-line clearance from Manuel Ugarte.

The U.S. continued to battle deep into stoppage time but Uruguay's backline proved up to the challenge and held out to clinch their first win against the U.S. since the 1993 edition of the Copa America.

Reuters

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