Gaga Slonina captained the USA in their Under-20 World Cup quarter-final, but was powerless to prevent them losing 2-0 to Uruguay.

It was an even game between two sides vying for a spot in the semi-finals to take on Israel, surprise victors over Brazil yesterday, in Argentina. The USA edged possession, but it was Uruguay who made the best of the chances to triumph.

The match was heavily influenced by the pitch, which was bare of grass in patches and resulted in several players struggling to keep their footing in the mud, with the Americans seeming to have biggest difficulty throughout.

That first became clear when a slip by the USA right-back allowed Uruguay in for the opening goal in the first half, and there was nothing Gaga Slonina could do when they ruthlessly took advantage by squaring across the box for a close-range tap-in.

The USA's luck went from bad to worse after the break, as a similar low cross from the left seemed harmless as it entered a penalty area devoid of Uruguay players, but defender Joshua Wynder slipped at the crucial moment and sliced his clearance into his own goal, although Slonina was agonisingly close to saving his blushes after showing great reactions to get fingertips to the ball, but he was unable to keep it out.

There was one last blow for Slonina's side, when they looked destined to pull one back in time to mount a late assault on Uruguay's defence, but Cade Cowell's goalbound shot was kept out by a deflection off one of his own team-mates.

It was especially harsh on skipper Slonina, who had impressed during the USA's run to the last eight by keeping a clean sheet in all four of their matches at the tournament prior to this one and could do little about either of the goals which resulted in their exit.

That leaves Cesare Casadei as Chelsea's sole remaining representative at the Under-20 World Cup. He is the competition's top scorer with six goals in five games and will be hoping to help Italy reach the final when they take on South Korea in the semis on Tuesday.