Argentina scraped through to the Copa America quarter-finals but fans will be baying for blood if they lose to Uruguay.
|Argentinian Carlos Tevez reacts after missing penalty kick against Uruguay in semi-finals [EPA]|
Uruguay reached the Copa America semi-finals at the expense of hosts Argentina with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory following a 1-1 draw after extra time.
In the other quarter-final on Saturday Peru shocked Colombia 2-0 to reach the last four of Latin America’s most coveted tournament.
Peru, who qualified from the group phase as the best third-placed team, will now meet Uruguay in the semi-finals.
Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera made some big saves during the match but none bigger than when he stopped Carlos Tevez’s effort in the shootout to send the hosts spinning out of the tournament.
Uruguay shocked the home side by taking the lead in the sixth minute from a set piece.
Uruguay star Diego Forlan’s free kick from the left was headed back across goal by defender Martin Caceres and midfielder Diego Perez slid in to score.
But Argentina equalised 11 minutes later when Lionel Messi sent in a curling cross towards the far post where Gonzalo Higuain ghosted in behind the defence to score with a downward header.
Uruguay were reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute when Diego Perez, who had been booked for going in on Javier Mascherano with his studs showing, was shown another yellow card for obstruction.
Argentina captain Mascherano was sent off three minutes from the end of the 90 minutes for a second booking.
Extra time double
For Peru, midfielders Carlos Lobaton and Juan Vargas scored in extra time to set up the semi-final clash with Uruguay.
The Colombians should have taken the lead with a penalty in the 66th minute but striker Radamel Falcao put the ball wide.
|Peru’s players celebrate after defeating Colombia in extra-time in their quarter-final match [Reuters]|
With game 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes, Colombia goalkeeper Luis Martinez spilled the ball when he came out at a Vargas free kick and substitute Lobaton fired into the roof of the net to put Peru ahead in the 12th minute of extra time.
Ten minutes later, with Colombia pressing for an equaliser, striker Paolo Guerrero took possession in a counter-attack and passed to man-of-the-match Vargas, who rifled home.
“We have to recognise that if (Colombia) had slotted in the penalty it would have been a different match,” Peru coach Sergio Markarian said at a news conference.
Markarian said that in extra time his team produced their best 30 minutes of the tournament so far.
“We’ve taken a big step, not so much towards the Copa but towards the World Cup. This will unite us,” Markarian said of his first efforts to revive the Peru team after years of disappointment.