Luis Suárez missed in the shootout as fifteen-times Copa Copa América champions Uruguay suffered a galling quarter-final exit on Saturday to Peru, losing 5-4 on penalties after they had three goals ruled out in a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes.
Suárez spurned the first penalty in the shootout as his shot bounced off the chest of Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, completing a frustrating evening for Uruguay’s all-time top scorer, who also had an effort ruled out for offside.
Every other player converted their spot kicks and Edison Flores sealed unfancied Peru’s place in the last four by blasting past Fernando Muslera.
Peru will face neighbours Chile in the last four, with tournament hosts Brazil meeting arch rivals Argentina in the other semi-final clash.
“I am very proud. I am speechless,” Peru striker Paolo Guerrero told reporters after scoring in the shootout. “Lots of people said we don’t have the desire, some people tried to destabilise the squad but we showed what we are capable of on the pitch, we showed we have fighting spirit and courage.
“People said before Uruguay were the favourites but being favourites means nothing in football, especially in South America.”
Uruguay dominated the play during the game but Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Edinson Cavani and then Suárez all had goals chalked off for offside which were each verified by VAR checks.
They became the third team in this tournament to lose a quarter-final tie on penalties after a goalless draw after Paraguay were beaten by Brazil and Chile beat Colombia on spot-kicks.
There is no extra time in Copa America quarter-finals in the event of a draw, although 30 minutes will be added on in the semi-finals and final if necessary.
Uruguay defender Diego Godín lamented his side’s inability to convert their chances.
“We were just missing a goal, we kept looking for it but it didn’t come and if we had scored it would have been a different game,” he said.
“We played well, but unfortunately we’ve been knocked out. We couldn’t score and they struck their penalties better than we did.”
Uruguay won the Copa America for a record 15th time in 2011 but they have underachieved in their last three appearances, losing to Chile in the last eight in 2015 and exiting in the group stage in 2016.