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Juego Bonito: the best bits (and the worst) from last night’s Copa America action

Three more sides cemented their places in the knockout stages last night.

A young Mexico fan watches last night's game against Uruguay.
A young Mexico fan watches last night's game against Uruguay.
Image: Pedro Fosco/AP/Press Association Images

Group C: Chile 1-0 Peru

How it happened: A stoppage-time own goal by Peru’s Andre Carrillo was all that separated the sides in Mendoza last night as Chile topped Group C with a 1-0 win in their final round-robin match.

With both sides already guaranteed a place in the tournament’s knockout stages,  Claudio Borghi and Sergio Markarian made a combined 15 changes to their starting line-ups with the quality of the game suffering as a consequence.

Chile had the better of the chances in the first half and would have taken the lead had Humberto Paredes made any sort of clean contact with Jean Beausejour’s low cross.

Peru’s only real chance of the first half came moments before the break when Michael Guevara slid in unmarked at the back. Stretching and off balance, the midfielder could only watch as the ball bobbled harmlessly wide.

Both sides were reduced to ten men on the hour when Beausejour and Giancarlo Carmona were given their marching orders for raising their hands.

Striker William Chiroque missed a glorious chance to put Peru into the lead with a quarter of an hour remaining, badly miscuing from eight yards, before the unfortunate Carrillo deflected a 92nd-minute corner past the stranded Libman in the Peruvian goal.

Key player: Jean Beausejour might have only been on the pitch for 60 minutes but, during that time, he was the most creative member of the Chilean attack, working hard to create chances for both Paredes and Suazo in the first period. Had he kept his hands to himself, Chile surely would have had a few more chances in the second half.

Turning point: Carrillo’s own goal. Sadly for the Peruvian sub, there’s no coming back from a 92nd-minute mistake.

What it means: Both sides progress to the last eight, though they will have to wait until this evening’s Group B fixtures are completed before learning the identity of their next opponents.

Group C: Uruguay 1-0 Mexico

How it happened: Luis Michel’s 14th-minute blunder condemned Mexico to a group-stage exit for the first time in Copa America history as Uruguay claimed a narrow 1-0 win in La Plata last night.

Alvaro Pereira was the Uruguayan hero, reacting quickest to prod the ball home from a yard after Michel spilled a Diego Forlan free-kick.

Uruguay had plenty of chances to extend their lead thereafter, with Ajax midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro combining effectively with the Diego Forlan-Luis Suarez partnership to create plenty of chances.

Forlan and Lodeiro hit the woodwork either side of half-time as Uruguay pressed forward in search of a second goal to kill the game. The single goal proved to be enough however, though it briefly seemed that Rafael Marquez Lugo had stolen an equaliser in the 80th minute before his close-range effort was chalked off for offside.

Key player: Forlan was probably the most industrious of Uruguay’s attacking players, rattling the post on the half-hour mark and creating an abundance of half-chances throughout the evening.

Turning point: The decision to rule out Marquez Lugo’s equaliser with ten minutes to play, though the replays show that the assistant got a very tight call spot on.

What it means: Uruguay set up a tasty quarter-final against hosts Argentina on Saturday night / Sunday morning in Santa Fe. With three defeats in three games, Mexico are out.

Next up: Group B reaches its conclusion tonight. Paraguay play Venezuela at 23:15 BST, followed by Brazil vs Ecuador at 01:45. Venezuela have already guaranteed their place in the last eight, but the other three teams are all still in with a chance of progressing.

Read more of TheScore.ie’s Copa America coverage here >

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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