Tue, Jul 20, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Brazil, Uruguay set for semifinal showdown

AP , PIURA, PERU

Traditional powers Brazil and Uruguay set up a semifinal showdown by trouncing two group winners in the Copa America on Sunday.

Brazil outclassed Mexico 4-0 at Miguel Grau Stadium, after Uruguay eliminated Paraguay 3-1 from a goal down at Tacna.

Brazil and Uruguay will meet in tomorrow's semifinal at the capital Lima for the first time at the Copa since the 1999 final, which Brazil won 3-0.

Argentina and defending champion Colombia meet in the first semi at National Stadium today.

Adriano became the Copa America's leading scorer with five goals after he netted for Brazil in the 65th and 78th minutes to make it 3-0.

He drew the penalty which Alex converted in the 27th, and backheeled to replacement striker Ricardo Oliveira, who scored into an empty goal in the 87th.

The victory ended Brazil's six-game drought against CONCACAF champion Mexico, after four losses and two draws since a 2-0 win in the 1999 Copa semifinals.

Brazil dominated Mexico, which struggled to break down the defense and outstanding goalkeeper Julio Cesar, and squandered a bunch of corners and the few good scoring chances.

Brazil, with only Kleberson from its 2002 World Cup champions, beat Mexico for the 19th time in 30 matches. Mexico has won seven times, and four matches ended in a draw.

Mexico entered the quarterfinal boosted by two consecutive wins in group play, one of them against favorite Argentina. It won the so-called ``Group of Death,'' the toughest draw in the South American tournament but suffered its biggest loss since a 4-0 defeat to France in the 2001 Confederations Cup.

The loss probably brought an end to an era for Mexico, which hung on to veterans of two World Cups and the 2001 Copa final run, to try and become the first guest team to take the title.

In Tacna, Uruguay continued to confound its own supporters by downing Paraguay 3-1 on two second-half goals by Sevilla forward Dario Silva.

Silva scored the game-winner only a minute after Uruguay was reduced to 10 men. Despite struggling in World Cup qualifying and being snarled in a bitter pay dispute with its national federation, Uruguay reached the last four for a third successive Copa.

The victory was also Uruguay's 100th in the Copa, second only to Argentina's 105 since 1916.

Carlos Gamarra, one of the few veterans in Paraguay's Olympic squad, opened the scoring in the 15th minute, slipping behind a sleeping Uruguayan defense to score on an expert header off Edgar Barreto's free kick.

Silva scored a solo goal in the final minutes, beating a defender onto a long ball and hacking it under goalkeeper Justo Villar.

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