It’s down to the final eight teams disputing the Centenario edition of the Copa America. They are Colombia and the United States in group A, Peru and Ecuador in group B, Mexico and Venezuela in group C, and Argentina and Chile in group D.
Ecuador vs US /17 June 3:30 a.m.
Colombia vs Peru /18 June 2:00 a.m.
Argentina vs Venezuela /19 June 1:00 a.m.
Mexico vs. Chile /19 June 4:00 a.m.
all match times given in CET (Central European Time)
The group stages provided many surprises. Costa Rica, the surprise underdog of the 2014 World Cup, performed poorly against the Americans and went down like the Titanic. Another one was that Venezuela, a clear underdog, came ahead and sank Uruguay, which is currently the leading team in the South American qualifying race for Russia 2018, and made it to the knock-out round. However, the biggest surprise vergonha! (shame in Portuguese) was Brazil…
Brazil was thrown out of the competition in the final game against Peru with a controversial 1-0 score resulting from a clear handball that ended with the ball in the back of the net (although Diego Maradona would say that that is a valid way to score…). Yes, Peru gets into the quarter finals unfairly, but no, it does not excuse Brazil from a horrible performance against Peru and Ecuador. The Brazilian side has five stars on its chest and the legacy of jogo bonito and this time around it was jogo muito feio. They have been unable to replicate the smart-attacking performances of previous generations. Thus, they cannot blame the Hand of God for what is probably the worst performance in the history of a country whose name has become synonymous with the beautiful game.
Thus, the Copa America Centenario has reached the critical stage. Which teams do you see going through? And who is your favorite to win the cup?
Analytically, I would say that Argentina has a good shot at winning the Copa America.
They have a very talented team and the motivation of ending their 23-year trophy drought. But as the Venezuelan that I am, I am putting my hopes in the vinotinto’s ability to upset Leo Messi’s side. If they achieve that monumental task, I will be writing a very drunk post next weekend…