Muslera stonewalls Tevez, seals ‘a national failure’

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

The utterly unpredictable Copa America continued with the start of the quarterfinals on Saturday. After Peru scored twice in extra time to upset Colombia, Uruguay stomped out whatever sliver of hope host nation Argentina had following a troubled group stage by eliminating them in a penalty shootout.

Though Uruguay's Diego Perez scored in just the sixth minute, Argentina's fortune seemed to change when Lionel Messi set up Higuain for an equalizer in the 17th minute and Perez was sent off in the 38th minute. The score held at 1-1, even after Argentina captain Javier Mascherano was booked for a second time and sent off over a surprisingly harmless bit of contact in the 86th minute.

No one could score in extra time, so it went to penalties -- an area in which Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera proved his mettle during last summer's World Cup and did again here. With the shootout level at 2-2, Carlos Tevez attempted to blasted a fireball to Muslera's right and the keeper blocked it as if he had a premonition the night before. That would be the only miss in the shootout and prove to be the difference between Uruguay advancing to the semis and Argentina going home. Er, staying home.

If you believe in some kind of karma or cosmic justice, then you might argue that Tevez suffered a bit of it after forcing moves away from so many clubs on hostile terms. If not, you'll probably just sit in awe of Muslera's complete domination of Tevez's shot.

According to the AP, "The website of the Argentine sports daily 'Ole' immediately called the loss 'a national failure. Good-bye to the dream of winning the Copa at home. Not even Messi can save us.'"

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