Clutching his head in his hands, Edinson Cavani doubled over in front of the goal in the 89th minute. The Uruguay forward had just watched his shot veer right of the goal and with it likely La Celeste's hope of advancing out of the Copa America Centenario's group stage.
With star striker Luis Suarez sidelined by an injury, Uruguay looked lost in its 1-0 defeat, unable to capitalize on opportunities to get on the scoreboard and incapable of overpowering a Venezuela team that entered the tournament as a considerable underdog.
In Suarez's absence, the responsibility fell to Paris Saint-Germain's Cavani to try and spark Uruguay's attack Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
In the 14th minute, Cavani got the ball and attempted to get something going early, but he whiffed and fell awkwardly. He fed the ball to teammates and often barreled toward the goal himself, all for naught.
Suarez did not look happy with his team's performance, judging by his demeanor as the FS1 cameras zoomed in on the Barcelona standout's spot on the bench.
Late in the second half, Suarez was seen gesturing toward and yelling at a Uruguay assistant coach, who pointed at Suarez and appeared to tell him to sit down. As Suarez sat back down, he slammed a plexiglass wall around the team's bench in frustration.
"Even if the player is upset, I'm not going to play a player who is not 100 percent," Uruguay head coach Oscar Tabarez said through an interpreter. "And if he got upset, that is something I was not aware of. He didn't tell me anything."
Suarez also appeared to be warming up at one point in the second half. It was unclear whether he would have even been able to enter the game since was marked as injured on the pregame start list.
Tabarez had said Wednesday night that Suarez would not be ready to play until his rehabilitation was complete, squashing any rumors that Suarez might have been preparing to take the field against Venezuela. Suarez suffered a hamstring injury last month in Barcelona's Copa del Rey final, and was sidelined during Uruguay's Copa opener, a 3-1 loss to Mexico.
Without much help on the field Thursday, Cavani just could not execute alone under the night's pressure, despite the sky-blue-clad fans that encircled the lower bowl of the Linc and attempted to help their team out with impassioned cheers.
The fan energy did not transfer over onto the field as Uruguay's shots repeatedly flew over the net or bounced off Venezuela defenders.
As the final whistle sounded, Cavani and his teammates fell to the ground. The 23,002 spectators watched in disbelief. Disappointed Uruguay fans headed toward the exits. Some draped the country's flag over their shoulders. Meanwhile, small groups of Venezuela fans scattered throughout the stands were overjoyed.