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Uruguay seals showdown vs Argentina
World Cup semifinalist Uruguay guaranteed the showdown by defeating Mexico 1-0 on Tuesday to secure second place in Group C and a quarterfinal against the second-place team in Group A, which is arch-rival Argentina. Argentina beat Costa Rica 3-0 last Monday to earn a spot in the Copa America quarterfinals. It’s Argentina vs. Uruguay in Copa America. Other Group C match, Chile defeated Peru 1-0 to top the group. Chile will face the second-place team in Group B, which will be determined on Wednesday when Brazil faces Ecuador and Paraguay plays Venezuela.
Six teams have already reached the knockout rounds–Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile and Peru–but the other three quarterfinals pairings won’t be known until the last two qualifiers are confirmed. The top two teams in each of the three groups advance automatically, and the best two second-place teams also move on.
The quarterfinals will be played Saturday and Sunday. Chile has been the best team in the group stage, following on from last year’s World Cup in which it reached the second round for the first time since 1962.
Chile earned Tuesday’s victory when Peru scored an own-goal two minutes into second-half stoppage time. Peru substitute Andre Carrillo deflected the ball into an open net from a corner by Jorge Valdivia.
Both teams were reduced to 10 men from the 62nd when Chile’s Jean Beausejour and Peru’s Giancarlo Carmona were ejected for an altercation. Uruguay should have scored more, with Forlan missing three or four clear chances. Forlan is now scoreless in his last 10 matches with the national team.
Uruguay and Argentina have each won the Copa America 14 times, more than anyone else. Brazil has won eight. It was a disappointing tournament for Mexico, which was the runner-up in 1993 and 2001.
Mexico lost all three of its matches fielding a second-string team. Mexico played in the Copa America as a guest and fielded a mostly under-23, Olympic-style team. Its first team won the Gold Cup in June, defeating the Untied States 4-2 in the final.
CONCACAF, the governing body of football in North and Central America and the Caribbean, declined to let Mexico field a full-strength team, fearing it would detract from the Gold Cup tournament.