Analysis of the match between Uruguay and the United States (July 1, 2024)

The United States men’s national team was eliminated from the Copa America on home soil in the group stage after a 1-0 loss to Uruguay at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday.

Mathias Olivera scored the decisive goal for Uruguay in the 66th minute after a lengthy video assistant referee review for offside and widespread protests from the United States after the goal was awarded, apparently by the narrowest of margins.

However, with Panama beating Bolivia 3-1 in the other Group C final match being played simultaneously, a win would have been necessary for the United States to advance behind group winner Uruguay in second place.

After a surprising 2-1 loss to Panama in its last match, the United States came into the match against one of the pre-tournament favorites knowing it had to match or better Panama’s result in its match against Bolivia, one of the tournament’s weakest teams.

Instead, Panama advances to the quarterfinals and, for the first time in its history, the USMNT has been eliminated from the group stage of a senior men’s tournament it hosted.

At the previous Copa America held in the United States, the US men’s national team reached the semi-finals.

Gio Reyna and the United States national team were eliminated from the Copa America at the first hurdle.

Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF

The United States entered Monday’s match without the suspended Tim Weah following his red card against Panama.

And in a difficult first half, the United States lost forward Folarin Balogun to injury and Ricardo Pepi came in as his replacement.

Uruguay also suffered an injury in the first half when winger Maximiliano Araújo was carried off on a stretcher after appearing to briefly fall unconscious.

In the middle of the chaos was Peruvian referee Kevin Ortega, 32, who made several questionable decisions that hurt the U.S. team.

The first came when Ortega began to draw a yellow card and stop play, but then allowed it to continue (with the card still in his hand) when Uruguay nearly scored on an attack. The second came when the U.S. had a clear advantage after handling the ball on Uruguay, but the referee eventually blew his whistle and waved off the play for a free kick.

Uruguay began to apply more pressure midway through the second half and scored when Nicolas de la Cruz took a free kick in front of the U.S. goal.

Matt Turner saved a header from Ronald Araújo, who jumped higher than defender Tim Ream, but the rebound went straight to Olivera, who finished the ball with his left foot.

The Americans were desperate after Olivera’s goal. And while the U.S. had some good plays and a couple of good chances inside the box, a team that had so many expectations couldn’t find the two goals it needed, or even one.

The United States struggled to create clear scoring opportunities throughout the match and finished third in the group with three points.

The Copa América represented the United States’ biggest test in its bid to host the 2026 World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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