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Copa America: Uruguay to face Peru in quarters after win over Chile, Ecuador and Japan eliminated

Edinson Cavani's 82nd-minute goal moved Uruguay to seven points and above Chile, which remained with six while Ecuador and Japan were eliminated from the Copa America after a 1-1 draw.

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Rio de Janeiro Published on: June 25, 2019 8:21 IST
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Uruguay to face Peru in quarters after win over Chile, Ecuador and Japan eliminated

Uruguay beat Copa America defending champions Chile 1-0 on Monday to claim the top spot of Group C.

Edinson Cavani's 82nd minute goal moved Uruguay to seven points and above Chile, which remained with six.

Uruguay will face Peru in the quarterfinals on Saturday, while Chile will play in Sao Paulo against Colombia which has won all three of its matches and is yet to concede a goal in the tournament.

Ecuador and Japan drew 1-1 in the other match of Group C, a result which eliminated both from the tournament.

Cavani scored with a header to the right of Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias when more than 58,000 fans at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro were already accepting a goalless result.

It was the striker's second goal in this year's Copa America.

The match in Rio was far less tense than the last three of one of South American soccer's most lively rivalries. But Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda tried to put some spice in his starting lineup, with defender Gonzalo Jara playing for the first time in the tournament.

On this same day four years ago, Jara was responsible for an incident with Cavani that ended in the striker being sent off in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Copa America in Chile.

With the match at 0-0, Jara provoked Cavani by pushing a finger into his rear. Cavani reacted by punching Jara and was sent off. Chile prevailed with a late goal and went on to win the tournament.

On Monday, though, Jara's only effort that was noticeable was kicking a pitch invader when the match was 0-0.

The two teams also had rough encounters in 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Uruguay won 3-0 at home and Chile got revenge with a 3-1 win in Santiago.

Chile dominated ball possession through the match, but Uruguay improved after midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro was substituted by Nahitan Nandez after the break.

JAPAN AND ECUADOR BOW OUT

Ecuador and Japan were eliminated from the Copa America after a 1-1 draw, giving Paraguay a spot in the quarterfinals of the South American competition.

Paraguay could only cheer after losing to Colombia in Group B on Sunday, but it got the result it needed to advance as one of the top two third-place finishers.

Uruguay won Group C after beating second-place Chile 1-0 in Rio de Janeiro on Monday. It ended with seven points, one more than two-time defending champion Chile. Guest Japan finished with two points and Ecuador with one.

The top two nations in each of the three groups advanced, along with the two best third-place finishers.

The quarterfinals will feature Brazil-Paraguay, Venezuela-Argentina, Colombia-Chile and Uruguay-Peru.

It was an open match at the Mineirao Stadium as only the victory would suffice for Japan and Ecuador.

Japan opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a goal initially disallowed for offside but later confirmed by video review. Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez couldn't fully clear a deep pass into the area and Shoya Nakajima picked up the loose ball and lobbed a shot into the open net.

The goal had been called off because Shinji Okazaki appeared to be offside when he made a run into the area.

Ecuador equalized in the 35th with a close-range shot by Angel Mena. Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima made a great one-handed save after a shot by Robert Arboleda, but Mena picked up the rebound and easily found the net.

Japan forward Daizen Maeda had a great chance to break the deadlock near the end of the match, but his shot from inside the area was stopped Dominguez's boot.

In stoppage time, Ayrton Preciado narrowly missed for Ecuador, and Japanese teenager Takefusa Kubo had a goal disallowed for offside just before the final whistle.

Kubo, an 18-year-old forward signed by Real Madrid for its "B'' team, was one of the many youngsters Japan brought to Brazil to prepare for the Olympic tournament at home next year.

Japan last played in the Copa America as a guest in 1999, when it also was eliminated in the group stage.

Ecuador has won only two of its 18 matches in the Copa America since 2004. It lost to Uruguay and Chile in its other matches this year. Japan's youngsters lost to Chile and drew with Uruguay.

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