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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Nicer' Uruguay Beats Colombia

MONTEVIDEO -- The days when testicle-grabbing and eye-poking were used as tactics to win soccer matches are over, Uruguay coach Hector Nunez said after his team's 2-0 win over Colombia in the Copa America.


"We don't win games by poking other players' eyes and grabbing their testicles," Nunez said Wednesday.


Uruguayan soccer has often been associated with unsavory tactics in the past. Its performances in the Copa America have been unspectacular, but Nunez said his team was playing strictly within the rules of the game.


"When we played in England recently, the media said before we arrived that we played very violently. But we showed that this isn't the case and that technically we had a lot to teach them."


Edgardo Adinolfi, who was playing only because of an injury to striker Daniel Fonseca, put Uruguay ahead in the semifinal in the 52nd minute of an even but lackluster encounter.


Striker Marcelo Otero wrapped the game up for Uruguay 18 minutes later. Uruguay will face either Brazil or the United States, who meet Thursday, in Sunday's final.


Uruguay, which has hosted the Copa America six times before and won on every occasion, has progressed through the competition without looking spectacular, save the first 30 minutes of its quarterfinal with Bolivia.


Despite the importance of the game and the presence of the home team, the 75,000-capacity Centenario stadium was less than half full. Local commentators blamed the poor turnout of just 28,000 on ticket prices, with the cheapest seats costing $35.


Despite the injury to Fonseca, Nunez once again decided to leave out-of-form striker Ruben Sosa, who has had an unhappy season in Italy with Internazionale, on the substitutes' bench.


Instead, veteran Enzo Francescoli moved into attack and Adinolfi was brought into midfield.


Uruguay showed little enthusiasm for attacking early on.


Its only two decent efforts in the first half were a dipping shot by fullback Gustavo Mendez following a run in which he dribbled past two defenders and a weak shot by Francescoli, comfortably saved by Colombia goalkeeper Rene Higuita.


Colombia had more possession, but as usual its attacking game was unproductive.


The crowd, which barely made a noise in the first half, was awakened from its apparent slumber when Adinolfi scored in the 52nd minute. Appropriately for such a scrappy game, he tapped the ball following a goalmouth scramble.


Faustino Asprilla came close to equalizing for Colombia when he just failed to make contact with Wilmer Cabrera's low cross, but Uruguay got the killer second goal in the 70th minute. Gustavo Poyet crossed from the right and striker Marcelo Otero volleyed the ball into the net for his third goal of the tournament.