Pereira goal lifts Uruguay to second place
Uruguay defeated Mexico 1-0 on Tuesday to finish second in Group C of the Copa America, setting up a quarterfinal against neighbor Argentina.
The sole goal came in the 15th minute. Diego Forlan took a 30-meter (yard) free kick, which Mexico goalkeeper Luis Michel stopped, but the ball slipped away, and Alvaro Pereira chipped it home.
GROUP C, STANDINGS
GROUP C, STANDINGS
July 4 - Uruguay 1, Peru 1
July 4 - Chile 2, Mexico 1
July 8 - Peru 1, Mexico 1
July 8 - Uruguay 1, Chile 1
July 12 - Chile 1, Peru 0
July 12 - Uruguay 1, Mexico 0
Chile defeated Peru 1-0 in Tuesday's other Group C match. Peru finished first with 7 points, Uruguay had 5, Peru 4 and Mexico 0. Mexico was eliminated, with the other three teams all reaching the quarterfinals.
Uruguay dominated the early play, and Pereira's goal gave the South Americans even more momentum.
Michel was forced to make a diving stop just a minute after the goal. Forlan also hit the post in the 30th and Luis Suarez missed by inches in the 36th.
Giovani Dos Santos had Mexico's best chance in the first half, forcing Fernando Muslera into a diving save in the 25th.
Uruguay pressed for an insurance goal in the second half, dominating most of the possession.
Forlan, who had not scored in his previous nine matches with the national team, was alone in front of the net in the 63rd but shot over the crossbar, and did so again in the 78th.
Uruguay had a half-dozen scoring chances in the second half and hit the post. Mexico's Rafael Marquez put the ball in the net in the 80th, but the play was called offside.
It was a disappointing tournament for Mexico, which was the runner-up in 1993 and 2001.
Mexico lost all three of its matches fielding a second-string team. Mexico played in the Copa America as a guest and fielded a mostly sub-23, Olympic-style team. Its first team won the Gold Cup in June, defeating the Untied States 4-2 in the final.
Uruguay: Fernando Muslera, Maximiliano Pereira, Diego Lugano, Sebastian Coates, Alvaro Pereira, Alvaro Gonzalez (Nicolas Lodeiro, 68), Diego Perez, Egidio Arevalo Rios, Cristian Rodriguez (Sebastian Eguren, 83), Diego Forlan (Sebastian Abreu, 89), Luis Suarez.
Mexico: Luis Michel, Paul Aguilar (Javier Aquino, 45), Hiram Mier, Hector Reynoso, Nestor Araujo, Darvin Chavez, Diego Reyes, Jorge Enriquez Garcia, Miguel Ponce (Edgar Pacheco, 70), Giovani Dos Santos (Oribe Peralta, 45), Rafael Marquez Lugo.