PHILADELPHIA, June 10: Uruguay were sent crashing out of the Copa America Centenario as Venezuela and Mexico marched into the quarterfinals.
Uruguay, the 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 yesterday.
That result combined with Mexico�s 2-0 Group C win over Jamaica in Pasadena left the 2011 champions struggling to digest 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.
�To beat the �Maestro� Tabarez is a privilege,� Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel said. �For me it means a lot. He�s one of the best coaches in the world, in history. This win will motivate us to keep winning and growing as a team,� he added.
Venezuela will now face Mexico in their final first round game to determine who finishes top of Group C.
Mexico, who had beaten Uruguay 3-1 in their opening game, meanwhile proved too powerful for Caribbean minnows Jamaica in front of an 83,263 crowd at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.
With California�s large population of Mexican-Americans making it a virtual home for �El Tri�, Mexico took the lead on 18 minutes when former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Javier Hernandez nodded in his 45th international goal after 18 minutes.
Venezuela�s winner came on 36 minutes, when midfielder Alejandro Guerra cleverly spotted Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera off his line.
Guerra unleashed a long-range effort from near the halfway line which the back-pedalling Muslera could only parry onto the bar before Salomon Rondon bundled in the rebound from close range. � AFP