Copa America 2011 Quarterfinals, Argentina Vs. Uruguay: Hosts Eliminated By 5 Perfect Penalties

120 minutes of play couldn't separate Argentina and Uruguay so the two sides went to penalties where Uruguay were flawless in making all five kicks

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Copa America 2011 Quarterfinals, Argentina Vs. Uruguay: Final Score, Uruguay Eliminate Hosts On Penalties After 1-1 Draw

Argentina are out of the 2011 Copa America after Uruguay defeated the hosts on penalty kicks 5-4 following a 1-1 draw that 120 minutes of football can't settle. The match ended with 10 men per side with defensive midfielders Diego Perez and Javier Mascherano picking up red cards, Perez in the first half and Mascherano in the second. The hero in the second half, in extra time, and again in penalties was Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera, the clear man of the match in an absolutely fantastic quarterfinal.

The fans in Sante Fe, Argentina are caught somewhere between shock and anger as some booed their home team mercilessly after the defeat while some just looked on in silence, seemingly unable to process exactly what had just happened.

Uruguay got off to a fantastic start in the match when Perez - who had picked up a yellow card three minutes prior and who would eventually be sent off - scored the game's opening goal, tapping in a Martin Caceres header off of a Diego Forlan free kick. Though Perez would eventually see red, he arguably should have been sent off for the challenge that he only saw yellow for in the 2nd minute.

Gonzalo Higuain would answer quickly, scoring the equalizer in the 17th minute. Lionel Messi, often criticized for not producing the results for the Albiceleste that he does for Barcelona, was the man who provided the assist as he hit an absolutely brilliant pass over the Uruguay defense, into the penalty area and straight onto the head of Higuain, who finished brilliantly with his head.

Perez would finally get sent off near the end of the second half and Uruguay were forced to play just over 45 minutes with a man disadvantage. Though Diego Forlan played brilliantly from that point on, his work rate making him seem like two men at times, Argentina dominated most of the possession and chances from that point forward.

However, Fernando Muslera's heroics would keep the match level at 1-1 through the 120 minute mark and force penalty kicks. In the second half he made brilliant saves on free kicks by Messi and Carlos Tevez, as well as a save on an Higuain shot that was taken on the rebound off of that Tevez free kick. He also made multiple saves in the extra time periods, forcing penalties.

In penalty kicks, all five of Uruguay's attempts were brilliant while Argentina's penalties were well taken as well, but Muslera came up big when Carlos Tevez stepped up to the spot third in the order, making a great diving save to his right to give his team the advantage. Javier Pastore and Higuain would slip penalties past him afterwards, but no one on Uruguay's team missed their penalty, with Martin Caceres scoring the winning fifth spot kick.

Uruguay now advance to the semifinals to face Peru, who are in their first Copa America semifinals since 1997.

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Copa America 2011 Quarterfinals, Argentina Vs. Uruguay: Score Tied 1-1 As Teams Head To Extra Time

After 90 minutes of even play, Argentina and Uruguay are deservedly heading for extra time in their 2011 Copa America quarterfinal, with the score tied at 1-1 at the end of the second half. Uruguay were forced to play most of the second half down a man due to the sending off of Diego Perez near the end of the second half, but extra time will start with the teams on level footing. That's because, at the end of the second half, Javier Mascherano picked up a second yellow card.

Both goals were scored in the first half, with Perez scoring the first before he was sent off and Gonzalo Higuain scoring the equalizer. Despite playing 10 vs. 11 for a long time, Uruguay were able to create some chances, with Diego Forlan working extremely hard to link between the midfield and Luis Suarez.

Still, despite his brilliance, Uruguay are only here because of Fernando Muslera, their goalkeeper. In the final minutes of the second half he made two absolutely incredible saves in succession to force extra time, denying Carlos Tevez on a free kick and Higuain on the rebound.

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Copa America 2011 Quarterfinals, Argentina Vs. Uruguay: Score Tied 1-1 After Entertaining Half

It's been an eventful and exciting first 45 minutes from Sante Fe, with Uruguay and Argentina tied up at a score of 1-1 at halftime in their 2011 Copa America quarterfinal game. Both teams scored early goals and both teams have had goals disallowed, while Uruguay is already down to 10 men and facing a serious uphill battle for the rest of the match.

Uruguay opened the scoring early, netting on a set piece in the 5th minute. Diego Forlan has looked like a shell of the man who won the World Cup's Golden Ball since...well, about a month after he won the prize, but he can still deliver a fantastic free kick. His dead ball set up Martin Caceres, who put a great header across the box towards the far post. Diego Perez, who probably should have been sent off for his foul on Javier Mascherano just a couple of minutes earlier, tapped the ball into the back of the net, giving his team the lead.

Gonzalo Higuain would find Argentina's equalizer, but all of the praise is going to Lionel Messi for his unbelievable ball into the box. Messi, running down the right wing, lofted a ball over the entire Uruguay defense, right onto the head of Higuain. All he had to do is meet the ball and get a touch on it, and the Real Madrid striker did just that, locking the game up at 1-1. 

Argentina would have a goal correctly disallowed for offsides shortly afterwards, while Uruguay would have a goal incorrectly disallowed for offsides. Both teams had crossbar hits and both teams' goalkeepers were forced into solid saves, as the teams created a number of chances in an exciting first half.

In the 38th minute, karma struck Diego Perez as the man who should have been sent off in the second minute picked up his second yellow card. Uruguay will now have to play shorthanded in the second half.

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Copa America 2011 Quarterfinals, Argentina Vs. Uruguay: 20 Minutes, 2 Goals

Apparently Argentina and Uruguay are trying to make us all forget about the first 19 matches of Copa America. Those matches were a bore, ugly and lacking the open attacking flair that usually makes the tournament such a joy. Just 20 minutes in, Argentina and Uruguay have done everything the earlier matches lacked, playing with bite and some great attacking football to an early 1-1 tie.

The scoring started when Uruguay got a free kick on the left. Diego Forlan played an absolutely perfect ball into the far post that Martin Caceres head across the face of the goal. Diego Perez came flying in and just nudged the ball across the line for the opening goal. Uruguay has to feel fortunate to have seen Perez score, not just because they went in front, but because he should have been sent off in the second minute for a terrible two-footed tackle.

By the 17th minute Argentina had equalized and it was because of Lionel Messi. The brilliant Argentinean played a perfect ball into a streaking Gonzalo Higuain. In behind the defense and with Messi's ball right on his forehead, Higuain only had to nod the ball past the keeper to level that match at one apiece.

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Copa America 2011 Quarterfinals, Argentina Vs. Uruguay: Lineups

The glamour match of the quarterfinals is set for Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López in Santa Fe as Argentina take on Uruguay. For the hosts it is a chance to erase the memory of a disappointing group stage that saw them need victory in their final match to qualify for the knockout stages. Uruguay will look to eliminate the hosts and advance to their fifth consecutive Copa America semifinal.

If they are to return to the semifinals, Uruguay will have to do it without Edinson Cavani, who will miss his second match of the tournament with a knee injury. They also have to replace Sebastian Coates as the central defender sits out the match with a suspension. That means Mauricio Victorino will have step in and look to stop the potent Argentina attack.

Argentina has not made a change to their lineup from their last group stage match. That team got the ball to Lionel Messi early and often, then worked around him, allowing Messi to show his brilliance in setting up his teammates time and time again. The one question is whether or not Gonzalo Higuain will finish after wasting so many chances last match. 

Argentina (4-2-3-1): Sergio Romero; Pablo Zabaleta, Nicolas Burdisso, Gabriel Milito, Javier Zanetti; Fernando Gago, Javier Mascherano; Sergio Agüero, Lionel Messi, Angel di María; Gonzalo Higuaín

Uruguay (4-4-2): Fernando Muslera; Maxi Pereira, Diego Lugano, Mauricio Victorino, Martin Caceres; Alvaro Gonzalez, Diego Perez, Egidio Arevalo Rios, Arvalo Pereira; Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez

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Copa America 2011 Quarterfinals, Argentina Vs. Uruguay: Preview

There's an old cliche that, in an international tournament like the Copa America with a group stage and knockout stage, it's important to peak at the right time. Argentina and Uruguay, two of the tournament's three big favorites, got off to extremely slow starts, but they appear to be following the cliche. After both teams drew their first two matches, both won their final group stage game, putting in their best performances of the tournament.

Some might tell you that Lionel Messi finally showed up for Argentina, but they would be wrong. Messi's teammates finally showed up and Sergio Batista finally put a team around him that could succeed. The FC Barcelona superstar was far and away the best player in Argentina's first two games, he just had no support.

The biggest move that Batista made was bringing in Fernando Gago and benching Esteban Cambiasso, who hasn't duplicated his club form for his country since the 2007 Copa America. Angel di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain proved to be good selections as well. Even though Argentina only beat Costa Rica's Olympic squad, it was still a great win and a good indication that Batista is starting to figure out his team.

Uruguay didn't look quite as good as Argentina did, especially considering that they, like Argentina, were playing against an Olympic team instead of a full senior team. Mexico didn't even have their full Olympic team for that game, as stars Jonathan dos Santos, Marco Fabian and Javier Cortes, among others, were all sent home. Edinson Cavani didn't start because of a knee injury and Diego Forlan, while he looked very dangerous, showed off some horrendous finishing.

Forlan is in one of those classic slumps that star strikers occasionally have in which he does everything right but the ball simply won't go in. Once he hits the back of the net, he'll have his confidence back and he'll start banging them in again without a problem. Still, even if Forlan is able to break his scoreless streak against Argentina on Saturday night, his team will need some other major contributors to step up. Cavani should be out yet again, and he is arguably Uruguay's best player at this point in time.

Both Batista and Oscar Tabares have some serious decisions to make in regards to their team selection, but it wouldn't be surprising to see both play the exact same team as they did in their final group stage matches. This will set up some great matchups in the center of the pitch, as Javier Mascherano looks to deny service to Forlan and Diego Perez attempts to harass Messi going the other way. Argentina probably have more talent, especially with Cavani injured, but Uruguay is more dangerous in wide areas and could potentially exploit Argentina's suspect fullbacks.

After Argentina's big win over Costa Rica, the Elephants Graveyard in Sante Fe will host an absolutely raucous crowd as the hosts Argentina face off against their rivals across the Rio de la Plata. Argentina are the favorites, but betting men should steer clear of this matchup.

You can catch this match at 6:15 P.M. ET on either Univision or Youtube if you live in the United States. The Copa America is streaming on Youtube to most countries across the globe. If you live in the United Kingdom, you can catch the game on ESPN UK. The game is on Fox Sports Latin America across South and Central America, including Mexico. I've found conflicting listings in Canada, so check your local listings there. For all of our Copa America, check out our 2011 Copa America section.

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