USA crash out of Copa America after loss to Uruguay, Panama in quarters | Football News

The United States were eliminated from the Copa America on Monday after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, while Panama secured their quarter-final spot with a 3-1 win over Bolivia.

Team USA needed to match or outperform Panama’s result in their final Group C game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City to advance, but failed to do so against a disciplined Uruguay side that topped the group.

A disappointed US coach Gregg Berhalter’s team, having already been upset 2-1 by Panama last Thursday, faced an uphill battle from the start. The US squad struggled to create significant chances and never seemed capable of seriously challenging the well-organized Uruguayans.

“It’s difficult to say right now, obviously the emotions are running high,” a disappointed US captain Christian Pulisic was quoted as saying by AFP after the game. “We had a good start and brought a lot of energy, but just didn’t have enough quality. We just couldn’t find a solution.”

Hopes for the US dimmed early as news arrived that Panama had taken a 1-0 lead against Bolivia in Orlando within the first 30 minutes. The Americans’ prospects brightened briefly in the second half when Bolivia equalized, making the score 1-1 and giving the US a potential path to qualification if they could hold Uruguay.

However, those hopes were short-lived. Uruguay took the lead through Mathias Olivera in controversial circumstances in the 66th minute. Ronald Araujo’s powerful header from a Nicolas de la Cruz free-kick was parried by US goalkeeper Matt Turner, only for Olivera to score on the rebound. Replays suggested Olivera was offside when Araujo initially made contact, but after a lengthy VAR review, Peruvian referee Kevin Ortega allowed the goal to stand.

The US’s chances of advancing grew increasingly slim when Panama regained their lead with a goal from Eduardo Guerrero to make it 2-1. The final blow came in stoppage time when Cesar Yanis scored a third for Panama, sealing their victory and ensuring the US’s elimination.

The early exit for the USA raises questions about the future of coach Gregg Berhalter, who has faced considerable criticism from American fans. Berhalter, who resumed the US coaching role in June last year following a break after the 2022 World Cup, now faces scrutiny about his capability to lead the team into the 2026 World Cup on home turf.

Berhalter’s frustrating record against top 20 teams continues, with only five wins in 20 outings against such opposition. Four of those victories were against regional rival Mexico, who also exited the Copa America in the first round.

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