Spain arrived in the quarter-finals having notched an average of seven goals per match during the group stages – second only to Brazil – and would face Uruguay, who had managed four. Neither side, though, would enjoy such productivity this night.
The early stages of the critical match that would decide who would join Portugal, Brazil and Switzerland in the semi-finals revealed two evenly-matched sides unable to find a way through. Spain nearly took the lead after ten minutes as a bouncing shot from distance skimmed up the far post and nearly dropped in. Matias then skipped one across the face of Spain’s goal in response. Coco’s shot from distance struck the woodwork before Spain goalkeeper Roberto Valeiro had to be at his best to turn away a bullet of a direct kick.
A fine combination left Uruguay’s Martin free to drive home from mid-pitch, giving his side the lead. Amarelle, Cristian Torres and Ricar added goals in an electric third period in which both sides produced numerous chances. And, in extra-time, it was Ricar who got the winner via a close-range tap-in.