Uruguay football celebrating another huge triumph
By On 17 Jul, 2011 At 05:42 AM | Categorized As Featured, Sports News | With 0 Comments


SANTA FE, Argentina (AP) — A surprise appearance in a World Cup semifinal, now beating the hosts to reach the last four of the Copa America — it just keeps getting better and better for Uruguay.

If a semifinal in South Africa last year was not enough, the Uruguayans came up with another sensational result on Saturday, beating Argentina on penalties to eliminate the heavily favored hosts and longstanding rival.

“I’m very happy,” coach Oscar Tabarez said. “This is one of the oldest classics in the world. Historically, it’s very hard for us to beat Argentina.”

Spearheaded by star forwards Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez, Uruguay will now face modest Peru in the semifinals as it attempts to win the Copa America for the first time since 1995.

Saturday’s victory came in a tense match in which the Uruguayans played with a man down for nearly an entire half after Diego Perez was red-carded in the 39th minute. Argentina captain Javier Mascherano was red carded near the end of regulation time to level the numbers.

“We don’t like to face difficulties, but we usually come through when we have challenges,” Tabarez said. “We played the same way even with a man down. We were able to stop the Argentine attack.”

Goalkeeper Fernando Muslera was the key man in frustrating a star-studded Argentina forward pack that included Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Tevez. He made several difficult saves throughout the match to keep Uruguay in the match until the end.

“It has been a tremendous Copa for Fernando, he deserves it,” said Uruguay midfielder Alvaro Pereira. “Hopefully it will continue like this until the end.”

Tabarez praised the entire team’s tenacity.

“We have that fighting spirit in ourselves,” he said. “Not just as Uruguayans, but in this team specifically. It was the same way at the World Cup. We never had more ball possession than our rivals, but we generated more scoring opportunities than they did.”

Despite the huge victory, Tabarez doesn’t see Uruguay as favorite against Peru.

“The teams will have equal responsibility,” he said. “Peru is not just another team anymore, they will play even with us.”

Uruguay advanced to the quarterfinals after finishing second to Chile in Group C. It drew Peru 1-1 in its opener, than drew Chile by the same score and beat Mexico 1-0.

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