Teary mist after penalty miss for Luis Suarez
Uruguay's Suarez inconsolable after being the only player to miss a penalty in shoot-out defeat by Peru
Luis Suarez broke down in tears after his penalty shoot-out miss saw Uruguay dumped out of the Copa America by unfancied Peru yesterday morning (Singapore time), the 15-time champions losing 5-4 on penalties after having three goals ruled out in a goalless draw.
Suarez spurned the first penalty of the shoot-out, his effort bouncing off the chest of Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, to complete a frustrating outing for Uruguay's all-time top scorer, who also had a goal ruled out for offside.
All other players converted their spot-kicks, and Edison Flores sealed Peru's place in the last four by blasting past Fernando Muslera.
Suarez, who rushed back to full fitness after undergoing knee surgery in May in order to make it for the Copa America, covered his face with his jersey and was consoled by teammates after the shoot-out defeat.
"Luis was very sad, he ended up missing in a decisive moment, but that's football and life," said Edinson Cavani.
"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We have won the Copa before, but today we have to accept that we are out."
Cavani's Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar, who was Suarez's strike partner at Barcelona, posted on Instagram: "Get up. You are very great, brother. I love you friend."
Peru will face neighbours Chile in the last four, with hosts Brazil meeting arch-rivals Argentina in the other semi-final.
"I am very proud. I am speechless," said Peru striker Paolo Guerrero, after scoring in the shoot-out.
"People said before Uruguay were the favourites but being favourites means nothing in football, especially in South America."
Uruguay dominated proceedings but Cavani, Giorgian de Arrascaeta and then Suarez all had goals chalked off for offside, after they were verified by the video assistant referee (VAR).
They became the third team in this tournament to lose a quarter-final tie on penalties after a goalless draw. The others are Paraguay, who lost to Brazil and Colombia, who were beaten by Chile.
There is no extra-time in Copa America quarter-finals in the event of a draw, although 30 minutes will be added on in the semi-finals and final, if necessary.
Uruguay defender Diego Godin lamented his side's inability to convert their chances.
He said: "We were just missing a goal, we kept looking for it, but it didn't come.
"If we had scored, it would have been a different game. We played well, but unfortunately we've been knocked out."
His coach Oscar Tabarez refused to blame the disallowed goals for the defeat, saying: "We failed in one aspect, the offsides.
"We committed seven offsides, three of them ended in a goal. There is no excuse... We could not win, we misjudged. Our opponents came with a plan and it was not possible to win."
His opposite number, Peru coach Ricardo Gareca, meanwhile, said: "We showed a lot of character to take them on.
"It was important to work hard, we did that, and I think we'll play better against Chile." - AFP, REUTERS
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now