With the elimination of Ecuador in the group stage, the contingent of Mexico-based, non-Mexican players in Brazil shrank from 10 players representing 4 countries to 3 players representing 3 countries (Egidio Arévalo Ríos, Uruguay; José María Basanta, Argentina; DaMarcus Beasley, United States).
The first one up in the knockout rounds was Tigres UANL’s Egidio Arévalo Ríos, as his Uruguay took on fellow CONMEBOL members Colombia in the Round of Sixteen. Ríos played every minute of Uruguay’s three group-stage games, and he started and played the full 90 minutes again today. Unfortunately for Ríos, those would be the last minutes he will play in this World Cup, as Uruguay fell 2-0 to Colombia thanks to a brace from young striker James Rodríguez.
Uruguay was without Luis Suárez, of course, after FIFA handed down a four-month suspension from all soccer activities after the striker bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in the final group state match. Uruguay was unable to overcome his absence, and after Rodríguez scored the first of his two goals in the 28th minute, the game looked all-but-decided. The wonder striker from the 22-year-old couldn’t have been placed any better, and although Uruguay showed some signs of life, principally from Edinson Cavani, they were never able to mount a comeback.
Colombia advances to the quarterfinals, where they will face Brazil, while Uruguay – and Ríos – will be heading home.