Riquelme Dream Deferred Again: Forlan, Suarez Lead Uruguay to Copa America Title

It’s been a good 12 months for Uruguay. After reaching the semifinals of last summer’s World Cup in South Africa, the Sky Blues won a record 15th Copa America title, cruising past Paraguay 3–0 in Sunday night’s final.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a nice finish off the far post, and Diego Forlan added another one just before halftime. Forlan icied the match with his second in the final minutes.

Highlights here:

The downside, of course, is that you-know-who will be keeping her clothes on, for the most part, in public for the foreseeable future.

That “Beep! Beep!” You’re Hearing is Paraguay Backing Into the Copa America Final

Despite not winning a game in regulation or extra time during the entire tournament, and being outplayed last night, Paraguay advanced to the final of the Copa America with a penalty-shootout win over Venezuela after the teams played to a scoreless draw.

Venezuela had a goal called back when a shot bound for the back of the net deflected off a player in an offside position, and they hit the woodwork three times. In the end, though, one missed penalty cost them a trip to the final to face Uruguay, 2-0 winners over Peru in Tuesday’s semifinal.

Here are the highlights (and enjoy how the commentary switches from Spanish to English midway through):

While Paraguay’s trip to Sunday’s final may have been dubiously earned, there is of course, a silver lining.

We don’t need to remind you, do we? Okay, okay twist our arms:

Paraguay Stuns Brazil, Keeps Riquelme Dream Alive for All

When Paraguay gave up two late (very late) goals to tie Venezuela in its final group-stage game of the Copa America last week, the result banished La Albirroja to a quarterfinal meeting with Brazil, and, according to some observers, certain elimination from the tournament.

But on Sunday, Paraguay escaped that fate with a penalty-shootout win over the defending Copa America champions, after the teams finished scoreless through 120 minutes.

The result blew the tournament wide open, coming one day after Uruguay ousted hosts and co-favorites Argentina (also on penalties)—and perhaps more important, it inched Larissa Riquelme’s famous pledge one step closer to reality.

Here’s a clip of the Paraguay–Brazil shootout, in which Brazil did its best USWNT impression:

Paraguay moves on to a July 20 rematch with Venezuela in one semifinal, while Uruguay takes on Peru, 2-0 quarterfinal winners over Colombia, in the other semi.

Venezuela Stuns Paraguay with Stoppage-Time Comeback, Endangers Dream of Larissa Riquelme, World

Venezuela, wearing their Colorado Rapids–style uniforms, staged a shocking two-goal comeback in the dying moments to tie Paraguay 3-3 in the Copa America last night.

Nicolas Fedor scored in the 90th minute to make it 3-2, and three minutes later, Grenddy Perozo bagged the dramatic equalizer.

Here are the highlights (note the audacious piece of skill that opens the clip):

The result bounced bounced Paraguay from second to third place in the group, but not out of the tournament. Yet.

The third-place finish lands La Albirroj in a quarterfinal meeting with defending champions Brazil. That matchup, of course, all but amounts to elimination and will most likely defer, yet again, the dream of Paraguayan supporter Larissa Riquelme.

You may remember Ms. Riquelme from last summer’s World Cup.

Here she is:

And here she is again:

As she did in South Africa, Riquelme has made a pledge concerning her beloved Paraguay:

“If Paraguay wins the Copa America, I’ll pose naked right there on the field” of Santa Fe’s Brigadier Stadium, she said, according to news agency AFP.

Alas, barring a monumental upset on Sunday (2:55 p.m. ET, Univision), Riquelme will once again be denied the chance to fulfill her pledge.

We trust she’ll keep trying in future tournaments.

Here are the other quarterfinal matchups:

Colombia vs. Peru, 2:55 p.m. ET, Univision
Argentina vs. Uruguay, 6:00 p.m. ET, Univision

Chile vs. Venezuela, 6:00 p.m. ET, Univision