Copa America 2019: Uruguay capitalised on Chile's weaknesses with right attitude and mentality, says striker Edinson Cavani

Brazil: Uruguay demonstrated a winning attitude and mentality in their 1-0 Copa America win over Chile on Monday that gave them the top spot in Group C, match-winner Edinson Cavani said.

Uruguay were in the second place in their pool behind the reigning champions and facing a daunting potential quarter-final tie with Colombia, the only side to go through the group stage with three wins.

But Cavani's header, eight minutes from time, coming off Jonathan Rodriguez's cross propelled Uruguay past Chile and into, what looks on paper at least, an easier last eight challenge against Peru.

 Copa America 2019: Uruguay capitalised on Chiles weaknesses with right attitude and mentality, says striker Edinson Cavani

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the game against Chile. AP

"In some moments we played well, in other moments less well, but always with the right attitude and mentality we were able to snatch the game," said the 32-year-old, who scored his 48th goal for his country.

But the Paris Saint-Germain forward insisted thoughts of a potentially easier quarter-final draw played no role in Uruguay's approach. "We wanted to win the group without knowing what would come next, to show a good image in the group and continue with this attitude," he said following the match at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana stadium.

Captain Diego Godín said this win "is important for confidence, to rediscover the feelings after the match against Japan" in which they were surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw. Veteran coach Oscar Tabarez admitted there was little to separate the two sides.

"It was a keenly contested match with few spaces. We managed a little bit better than our opponents," he said. More so than avoiding Colombia, Tabarez was most pleased that Uruguay will get an extra day of rest ahead of their quarter-final, against a Peru side that has had two extra days to recover from their group stage matches, on Saturday in Salvador.

Chile will face Colombia the day before in Sao Paulo. "One extra day of rest is useful, it's important because we're on the limit," said Tabarez.

Chile's Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda, who was jeered by many of his team's fans when his name was announced before the match, said his side were beaten by "Uruguay's strength" — their aerial game.

"Undoubtedly, it was a very close game. We knew about our opponents' quality, with a well-defined system, a difficult style in terms of their aerial game," he said. "But we played very well, we showed character, we showed discipline."Still, defeat was hard to take. "We lost, that's tough on the players' motivation," said Rueda.

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Updated Date: Jun 25, 2019 13:00:17 IST