Defending champion Brazil thumped Chile 6-1 and Uruguay eliminated host Venezuela 4-1 in the Copa America on Saturday to set up a semi-final between two of South America's heavyweights at Maracaibo on Tuesday.
The Charruas haven't beaten Brazil in the Copa since the 1995 final at home in Montevideo. Since then, Brazil gained revenge in the 1999 final, and won again in the semi-finals three years ago in Peru.
Following criticism for its lack of attacking flair in the first round, Brazil's thrashing of Chile put to rest any doubts that coach Dunga's young team has the wherewithal to reach the finals.
Brazil's blowout began in characteristic "jogo bonito" fashion, when a leaping Julio Baptista brushed a corner kick that Juan put away with a beautiful double-header after 11 minutes.
After Baptista scored on a breakaway six minutes later, Robinho added the first of his two goals in the 27th to allow Brazil to go into half-time with one foot already in the semis.
With a tournament-high six goals, the Real Madrid forward has a shot at equaling Pele's record eight-goal count in the 1959 tournament.
Josue and Vagner Love added goals in the second half while Humberto Suazo looked glum after scoring Chile's lone goal in the 75th.
Earlier in San Cristobal, Uruguay crushed hosts Venezuela's illusion of building upon what was already their best-ever tournament finish.
Uruguay crept into the quarter-finals with just a solitary first-round goal -- the lowest production of any of the 12 teams in the tournament.
But thanks to two goals by striker Diego Forlan, in the 38th minute and during second-half injury time, Uruguay's attack finally awakened against an inexperienced Venezuela that held the Charruas to a scoreless draw in their group meeting only four days ago.
"We didn't play well in the first round and some thought we'd end up a disaster, going home early, but here we are with a strong chance of reaching the finals," Uruguayan forward Cristian Rodriguez said.
The Vinotinto, playing in their first-ever Copa quarter-final, threatened after a Juan Arango free kick made it 1-1 after 41 minutes. But a charging Pablo Garcia gave Uruguay the lead for good in the 65th with a driving shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Paris St. Germain star Rodriguez scored Uruguay's third with three minutes remaining after Venezuela's attack lost much of its steam.
As they celebrated Naomi Osaka’s victory in the final of the US Open in New York City’s Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Tokyoites were eager to embrace their heroines’ stand against racial injustice. Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title with a victory over Victoria Azarenka, has used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, wearing a mask bearing the name of a different African American before each of her seven matches in the championship. She had donned masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and Philando Castile. On Saturday, she walked
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City. Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday. It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016. Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front