Thu, Jul 15, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Argentina overcomes Uruguay 4-2

AP , PIURA, PERU

Diego Forlan, right, of Uruguay, vies for the ball with Gabriel Heinze of Argentina during their Copa America match at Miguel Grau Stadium in Piura, Peru, Tuesday.

PHOTO: AFP

Argentina beat Uruguay 4-2 in the Copa America's most storied rivalry on Tuesday and set up the first confirmed quarterfinal against tournament host Peru.

Mexico eliminated Ecuador 2-1 in the first match at Miguel Grau Stadium, and its reward for winning Group B will be a weekend quarterfinal against either Brazil or Paraguay, who meet on Wednesday.

Mexico won the group with seven points from three games, followed by Argentina with six points, Uruguay four and Ecuador zero.

Uruguay had already qualified before playing Argentina, and will be seeded as one of the two best third-place teams, to play either Colombia, Brazil or Paraguay.

Ecuador's loss advanced Argentina before it kicked off, and the Argentines celebrated by trumping bitter rival Uruguay, which played the last 55 minutes down a man after Joe Bizera was ejected for his second yellow card.

Last-minute starter Luciano Figueroa scored twice, in the 20th and 89th minutes, and Cristian Gonzalez and Roberto Ayala also scored for Argentina, while goals by Fabian Estoyanoff and Vicente Sanchez helped Uruguay to level at 2-2 three minutes after they lost Bizera.

Argentina's victory evened its Copa record against Uruguay at 13 wins each plus three draws, and delayed Uruguay from joining Argentina as the only nations to win 100 Copa matches.

The pair have each won 14 titles, and met in 13 finals, and the first half shaped up to be another classic, but the second half was tarnished by too many rough tackles.

Estoyanoff gave Uruguay a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute with a 25m volley which surprised goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri.

Estoyanoff got off his long-range shot after Figueroa's header failed to clear the ball from the penalty area.

In the 19th, referee Ruben Selman awarded a penalty after Uruguay's Marcelo Sosa took down Cesar Delgado as he turned on goal. Cristian Gonzalez's penalty kick narrowly beat 'keeper Luis Barbat to equalize.

Less than a minute later, Argentina went up 2-1 after Barbat struggled to save a shot by Luis Gonzalez, allowing Figueroa to pick up a loose ball and score.

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