PHILADELPHIA (APP) – Uruguay were sent crashing out of the Copa America Centenario on Thursday as Venezuela and Mexico marched into the quarter-finals.
Uruguay, record 15-time Copa America champions, were eliminated in the group phase for the first time since 1997 after slumping to a shock 1-0 loss to Venezuela in Philadelphia.
That result combined with Mexico’s 2-0 Group C win over Jamaica in Pasadena left the 2011 champions resigned to a humiliating early exit.
“We never found the game we wanted and that cost us,” Uruguay’s revered coach Oscar Tabarez said, adding that the ill-fated campaign should serve as a warning to his team as they now look ahead to the resumption of 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
“It’s been a very different Copa America. I’ve never experienced something like this before. We knew it was going to be difficult but this should be a wake-up call before the World Cup qualifiers,” Tabarez added.
Uruguay’s defeat also capped a miserable tournament for Barcelona superstar Luis Suarez, who was expected to lead his team to success in the tournament.