Manuel Ugarte Buries Decisive Goal to Lead Uruguay to Copa America Quarterfinals Victory Over Brazil

Manuel Ugarte celebrating a deciding kick…

The 23-year-old Uruguayan professional footballer buried the decisive spot kick to help Uruguay beat Brazil 4-2 on penalties at the end of a bruising 0-0 draw and lead Uruguay into the Copa América semifinals.

Manuel Ugarte,

Despite picking up a red card, Uruguay were able to push things to the penalty shootout against Brazil. There will be some worries for Uruguay as Ronald Araujo left the game with an injury and Nahitan Nandez was sent off with a straight red card, but when the goal is to win, surviving with 10 men for 16 minutes of regulation is a testament to Uruguay’s improvement.

Sergio Rochet saved Brazil’s first penalty in the shootout from Éder Militão while his teammate Douglas Luiz hit the post. Brazil keeper Alisson Becker denied José Giménez but Ugarte buried the decisive spot kick.

Sitting sixth in World Cup qualifying, Brazil are at risk of missing the 2026 World Cup, which is unheard of. The defense did show up against Uruguay, holding the top-scoring attack of the tournament to no goals, but the attack was blanked as well.

Moving forward, Uruguay’s questions are easier to answer as they’re at least still in Copa America while Brazil will have time to stew on things before going back to preseason training with their clubs. It’s not optimal but the Marcelo Bielsa effect is working and could still lead to a Copa America title.

After crashing out of the 2022 World Cup during the group stage, Uruguay’s growth under Bielsa shows as they legged out a gritty victory, but things won’t get easier facing Colombia in the semifinals of the tournament. Colombia is unbeaten in 29 matches with a superb attack and team unity to match.

Without Vinicius Junior due to suspension, Brazil struggled to create on the attacking end, and coach Dorival Junior has plenty of questions to answer. Lucas Paqueta and Rodrygo haven’t been able to integrate into the attack, and with Neymar Jr out of Copa America with a knee injury, no one has shown that they can replace him as the talisman up top.