The Copa America is Hitting its Stride this Week
The Copa America is hitting its stride this week, when the quarterfinal knockout round separates the teams that are going on from those who will be packing their luggage and heading home. Since the Group Stage was completed, the top teams have clearly made themselves known with host Chile creating the most noise.
Chile, which plays defending Copa America champion Uruguay in the first quarterfinal game Wednesday at Santiago de Chile, was the heavyweight in Group A. Chile scored 10 goals in three games – six more than any other team in the tournament. Even though Chile has never won the Copa America and Uruguay is a 15-time winner, Chile’s attacking style may be the difference.
Bolivia-Peru meet in Temuco on Thursday with the winner of that showdown advancing to play the winner of the Chile-Uruguay match in one of the semifinals. In Group A, Bolivia posted two victories, against Peru and Ecuador, and also tied with Mexico. Peru had one victory and a tie in Group C.
Colombia, one of the pre-tournament favorites, managed to edge into the semifinals against Argentina in Vina del Mar on Friday despite finishing third in Group C, scoring only one goal and drawing 0-0 with Peru in its last game. But Colombia still moved on when Brazil, the class of Group C, defeated Venezuela, 2-1.
Colombian star James has not scored a goal, but he remains confident. “Friday is a great match to try and make things better,” James said.
As for Brazil, Robinho and Roberto Firmino have been outstanding while Paraguay may be vulnerable after nondescript results in Group B – ties with Uruguay and Argentina and a victory over Jamaica. The Brazil-Paraguay match is Saturday night in Concepcion.