Chile Eliminates Holder Uruguay to Reach Copa America Semifinals

  • Mauricio Isla Scores Second-Half Goal in 1-0 Win in Santiago
  • Cavani, Fucile Red Carded For Uruguay Along With Coach

Host Chile continued its quest for a first Copa America soccertitle with a 1-0 quarterfinal win over defending champion Uruguay, which finished the game with nine players and also had its coach ejected.

Defender Mauricio Isla scored the only goal with nine minutes to play in the tournament’s first quarterfinal at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago. Chile will play the winner of Thursday’s game between Bolivia and Peru for a place in the final of the 99-year-old Copa America, soccer’s oldest regional championship.

In record 15-time champion Uruguay, Chile had an opponent that has upset Copa America hosts 14 times, earning the country of 3.3 million people the nickname “aguafiesta,” or killjoys. Most famously, Uruguay defeated Brazil in the final game of the 1950 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

Though it enjoyed almost 80 percent of ball possession throughout the game, Chile failed to create the openings that led to a competition-high 10 goals in group play. Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera waited for 36 minutes to make his first save, punching the ball away from Vidal’s long drive.

Chile got a break with 30 minutes remaining when Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, who had been a doubt to play after his father was arrested following a fatal car crash, was ejected for being shown a second yellow card.
Uruguay held on until Isla struck the winner with a low shot in the 81st minute.

The game ended in acrimony as players and technical staff from the teams clashed. Uruguay defender Jorge Fucile was red-carded along with his coach Oscar Washington, while referee Sandro Meira Ricci was surrounded by Uruguay players as he left the field after the game.

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