Argentina striker Martin Palermo missed three penalty kicks as Colombia advanced to the Copa America quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory today.

Referee Ubaldo Aquino awarded five spot kicks and issued two red cards to Argentina, including Coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Argentina won the first spot kick after four minutes when Palermo, voted the best player in South America, drew a foul on Alexander Viveros. But Palermo, who scored two goals against Ecuador in his team's opening match, blasted the ball off the goal post.

A beautiful flick from Edwin Congo in the second half, with the help of a slight deflection, gave Colombia a 2-0 lead. Montano then made it 3-0 with a superb individual effort, lobbing in a shot from 30 yards.

URUGUAY 2, ECUADOR 1: Two second-half goals by Juventus striker Marcelo Zalayeta put Uruguay on course for a place in the Copa America quarterfinals.

There were plenty of chances for both sides with most falling to Uruguay, which is seeking a record 15th continental championship. Uruguay needed a victory after losing its Group C opener, 1-0, to Colombia. Ecuador, having previously lost to Argentina, is close to elimination.

Uruguay had several chances in the first period, with Antonio Pacheco and Andres Fleurquin wasting the best opportunities. But it was in the second half that all the significant action took place.

Ecuador started the half strong creating two good chances, the best falling to Ivan Kaviedes, also based in Italy with Perugia, who hit the side of the net from close range. Uruguay defender Leonel Pilipauskas had forced Kaviedes wide with a timely challenge.

But Uruguay continued to spurn the chances that came its way and also had two good penalty appeals turned down. Zalayeta finally took control with two goals in quick succession.

The first goal came in the 72nd minute as the unmarked striker controlled the ball and scored from close range. The second came two minutes later on a glancing header into the far corner off a cross by Pilipauskas.

Ecuador brought itself back into the match with a free kick in the 78th minute. With the Uruguayan wall braced for a shot, the ball was lifted over the wall to Kaviedes, who made minimal contact with the ball but still beat goalkeeper Hector Carini, who was off-balance.

That goal seemed to spur on Ecuador, and substitute Agustin Delgado had a chance to tie the match in extra time but his header missed high and wide.