Olivera’s Strike Bundles Tournament Hosts, USA, From Copa America 2024 [Video Highlights]

0
128

Tournament hosts, USA, have crashed out in the group stages of Copa America 2024 after a narrow 1-0 loss to Uruguay.

The Greg Berhalter-led side needed a win against Uruguay to stand a chance of qualifying for the next round of the competition. They were tied on the same point with Panama on three points heading into the final round of group matches.

A win against Uruguay and a defeat or draw for Panama against Bolivia would have seen the Stripe and Stars booked a slot in the next round but they were trading tackles with the strongest side in the group who had won their first two opening matches.

USA Copa America 2024
Darwin Nunez in action for Uruguay |Image Credit: Getty Images

It was a nervy affair as the two sides lock horns at the Arrowhead Stadium. Uruguay were on top of proceedings but it was still a tightly-contested affair. USA pulled up a strong showing but it was not enough to put the Uruguayans to the sword. A few chances were created in the first 45 but Uruguay were promising on the offensive and enjoyed a good spell of possession in the USA’s half.

Both sides headed into the break goalless. While Uruguay had booked qualification to the quarter-finals after their first two wins, Greg Berhalter was definitely under pressure to turn things around for good in the second half.

Meanwhile, Panama, who were contenders with the Stripe and Stars had taken the lead in the other final group match, played simultaneously at the Inter and Co. Stadium. Fajardo had fired the Panamanians into the lead in the 22nd minute to further rile up pressure on the USA.

In the second half, USA improved in their ball retaining capacity but it was still a deadlock in Uruguay’s final third. A less clinical finishing saw the team lag behind their opponents on offensive threats. Despite slightly losing the ball possession to the hosts, Uruguay were threatening when launching attacks.

USA Copa America 2024
Olivera celebrates winning goal with Uruguay teammates/ Image Credit: Getty images

Six minutes after the hour-mark, USA’s hopes of a place in the knockout was finally blotted. Olivera scored for the Uruguayans to put the star-studded en route to a win.

With only two attempts on target out of their 8 shots, USA failed to stage a formidable response after trailing by the lone goal. Proceedings finally ended with Uruguay winning 1-0 and bundling out the tournament hosts from the competition.

Panama won the other group fixture against Bolivia to finish second in the group with 6 points and join Uruguay in the next round.

It is the second time USA have crashed out in the group stages of Copa America after similar outcome in 2007. Their best result in the competition is a fourth-place finish in 1995 and 2016.

The Copa America 2024 deadlock for the USA has tainted the team’s prospect for the 2026 World Cup which will also be hosted by the country. There are already projections the team’s head coach, Greg Berhalter, may not tarry long on his managerial role and could be relieved before the 2026 World Cup.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here