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BBC Sport's Tim Vickery
"In an inflamed atmosphere the Mexican's hung onto a win"
 real 14k

Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Mexico win stormy semi
Uruguayan Pablo Lima, left, fights for the ball against Mexico's Miguel Zepeda
Competitive: Lima (left) tussles with Mexico's Zepeda
Copa America semi-final:
Mexico 2-1 Uruguay

Mexico beat Uruguay in a stirring encounter, which saw both sides finish with only nine men, to reach the final of the Copa America.

The Mexicans booked a meeting on Sunday with either hosts Colombia or minnows Honduras, who meet in the other semi-final on Thursday.

The result meant the Mexicans improved on third place finishes at the last two Copa Americas in 1997 and 1999 to reach only their second-ever final.

The first, in 1993, ended in defeat against Argentina.

Only 12,000 spectators were present at Pereira's Hernan Ramirez Villegas stadium to witness this full-blooded semi-final.

Mexico's Jared Borgetti opened the scoring
Mexico's Jared Borgetti opened the scoring
Mexican keeper Oscar Perez produced a top drawer save from a Richard Morales header on 10 minutes as Uruguay began to find their rhythm following a cagey opening.

But the "Aztecs" swiftly stepped up the pace and drew first blood in the 15th minute.

Alberto Garcia Aspe clipped a pass through to Jared Borguetti, who jinked his way goalwards and unleashed a superb strike past Uruguayan keeper Gustavo Munua.

On the rack

Christian Callejas tried a speculative effort on the volley as the Uruguayans tried to bounce back after 29 minutes but Perez was alert to smother and make the save.

But the Uruguayans had their opponents on the rack in a purple patch and after 33 minutes they levelled when Morales headed in following a quick free kick routine.

Having hauled themselves back the Uruguayans then suffered a blow when Carlos Maria Morales was sent off in first-half injury time.

The South Americans kept up the initiative, however, and only an offside flag prevented them from going in front 10 minutes after the restart.

Uruguay's Richard Morales levelled the scores
Uruguay's Richard Morales heads home
Borguetti should have made it 2-1 at the other end just after the hour mark but Munua made a brilliant reflex stop.

The Mexicans made the breakthrough after 67 minutes from the penalty spot through the industrious Aspe - who then ruined his contribution by picking up a second yellow card two minutes from the end.

That was the signal for some overly frantic exertions in four minutes of injury time which saw a further two dismissals.

Morales and Mexico's Manuel Vidrio both red carded by overworked Argentine referee Angel Sanchez.

Despite a late spell of pressure, the Uruguayans were unable to pull the match out of the fire.

Mexico: Perez, Vidrio, Marquez, Ramon Carlos Morales, Torrado, Garcia Aspe, Johan Rodriguez, Ramon Heriberto Morales, Borguetti, Zepeda, Arellano. Subs: Alberto Rodriguez, De Nigris, Oswaldo Sanchez, Valdez, Victorino, Osorno, Mercado, Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Reyes, Hierro, Martinez.

Uruguay: Munua, Bizera, Gutierrez, Lima, Callejas, Perez, Lemos, Anchen, Carlos Maria Morales, Richard Morales, Sorondo. Subs: Curbelo, Diaz, Martinez, Nicolas Olivera, Guglielmone, Berbia, Julio Rodriguez, Fabian Stoyanoff, Eguren, Dadomo.

Referee: Angel Sanchez (Argentina)

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