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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Copa America: Brasil 2 x Uruguay 2 (5 - 4 Brasil on penalties)

In a very exciting semi-final that was decided on penalties, Brasil eliminated Uruguay, 5 to 4. Maicon of Brasil opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Uruguay equalized with a great shot by Diego Forlan in the 36th minute. A few minutes later, Julio Baptista put Brasil ahead as the teams went off for the break. There was a 15 minute delay during the first half due to a stand of lights that lost power.

In the second half, led by an excellent performance by Diego Forlan (despite a miss in the shoot-out), Uruguay pushed ahead. They equalized in the 70th minute on a goal by Sebastian Abreu, who was a second half substitute. The game ended in a draw at 2 to 2.

In Copa America, if the game is tied after 90 minutes in the elimination round, penalty kicks are taken. There is no extra time, which changes tactics significantly. In the first round of five shots, the best one was taken by Abreu. He calmly and expertly chipped the ball straight down the middle, as Doni leaped the other way, for Uruguay's fourth goal, to tie the shoot-out.

In the sixth round, both teams missed against the post. Gilberto scored next for Brasil in the seventh round of the shoot-out. The next shot by the Uruguayan captain, Diego Lugano, was saved by Doni. Brasil goes through to the final to defend their title.

Alvaro "el chino" Recoba played his last game for Uruguay. He shaved his head for this tournament, and promised had Uruguay made the final, he would have painted his head in the colors of their flag (blue, white, and gold). No doubt it would have become a new fashion statement. ;-)

To view the video highlights, please click here. Please visit 101 Great Goals for excellent videos from around the world.

Here are the stats courtesy of ESPNSoccernet:

Shootout Snapshot
Brazil Score Uruguay
Robinho (pen) Goal1 - 0

1 - 0Forlán (miss)
Juan (pen) Goal2 - 0

2 - 1Scotti (pen) Goal
Gilberto Silva (pen) Goal3 - 1

3 - 2González (pen) Goal
Afonso (miss) 3 - 2

3 - 3Rodríguez (pen) Goal
Diego (pen) Goal4 - 3

4 - 4Abreu (pen) Goal
Fernando (miss) 4 - 4

4 - 4García (miss)
Gilberto (pen) Goal5 - 4

5 - 4Lugano (miss

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