By FRANCO PANIZO
Not even homefield advantage was enough to help Argentina put an end to its trophy drought.
Argentina was knocked out of the Copa America at the Santa Fe Stadium on Saturday night, losing to Uruguay, 5-4, in a penalty kick shootout after playing to a 1-1 draw. Carlos Tevez was the lone spot kick taker to miss in a game that put an end to Argentina's hopes of winning its first international tournament since the 1993 Copa America.
After Diego Perez and Gonzalo Higuain scored in the first half, both teams entered extra time with 10 men as Perez and Javier Mascherano were ejected with double bookings. Perez was sent off in the 38th minute and Mascherano was given his marching orders four minutes from the death.
The 30 extra minutes ended without a goal and the game headed to penalty kicks, where Fernando Muslera was the hero. Muslera, who opted to look away every time his teammates shot from the spot, dove to his right to deny Tevez in the third round of penalties, which ultimately sent Uruguay to the semifinals.
Uruguay will play Peru in the semis on July 19 after the Peruvians booked their place in the final four with a win over Colombia in Saturday's first game.
Here are the match highlights as well as a recap of Peru's victory over Colombia:
PERU SHOCKS COLOMBIA WITH 2-0 WIN IN EXTRA TIME
Colombia may have entered its quarterfinal match against Peru having yet to concede a goal, but its troubling penchant of failing to finish finally proved costly.
Peru ousted Colombia, 2-0, in extra time on goals from Carlos Lobaton and Juan Manuel Vargas. The Colombians had chances to win in regulation, but two shots hit the post and Radamel Falcao failed to convert on a penalty kick in the second half.
Falcao's missed opportunity ultimately doomed Colombia as Lobaton took advantage of a goalkeeping blunder by Luis Martinez and thundered home a shot in the 101st minute. Vargas put the game away in second half of extra time with a left-footed shot after poor distribution by Martinez allowed Vargas and Paolo Guerrero to dribble upfield with little resistance.
The win, which is Peru's biggest in years, placed the Peruvians into the semifinals of the Copa America for the first time since 1997.
Here are the game highlights:
What do you think of Argentina's elimination? Why did the team struggle so much in this tournament? How surprised were you by Peru's win? Who do you see winning between Peru and Uruguay?
Share your thoughts below.