Wednesday, June 27, 2007

...And Another Begins.

The 2007 Copa America began yesterday, and for the first time in a while it is worth following, as most every team is really trying to win it. In the past few competitions, several teams sent B teams to Copa America because it took place during World Cup qualifying. World Cup 2010 qualifying for South America starts at the end of this year, so the teams see it as a great opportunity to get ready and all are at full strength or close to it.

The two big boys of South American soccer are again favorites, with Argentina favored over Brasil because all of their stars are in their team while Kaka and Ronaldinho have asked to be left out so that they can get a few weeks of rest after playing 2 years nonstop; Ronaldo & Roberto Carlos are no longer preferred by coach Dunga, and Adriano has basically partied himself out of favor with Brasil in addition to Inter Milan.

To make a 12 team tournament, CONMEBOL invite 2 guest teams, and this time around the guests are the USA and Mexico. The US prioritized their own confederation's Gold Cup and are sending basically a B team and hoping for the best. Mexico are sending their first team and hoping to overcome playing all of those Gold Cup matches it he last 3 weeks and show that they can hang with the big boys of CONMEBOL.

Aside- personally, I would prefer that they don't have guest teams in a 12 team tournament and just had their 10 nations in a tournament. Instead of 3 groups of 4 playing to determine 8 quarterfinalists, I would have 2 groups of 5 with the top 2 in each group advancing to a knockout stage starting with the semifinals. As it happens I am not the president of CONMEBOL, so 3 groups of 4 playing to determine 8 quarterfinalists it is.

The most interesting aspect of Copa America is that once the knockout stage begins, if a match ends tied after regulation, there is no extra time. Instead they will go straight to penalties.

Anyhow, here are the three groups.

Group A
Uruguay
Venezuela
Peru
Bolivia

Group B
Brasil
Mexico
Ecuador
Chile

Group C
Argentina
Paraguay
Colombia
USA

The top 2 from each group advance to the quarterfinals, as well as the top 2 3rd place teams.

Every match will be shown live on Univision or Telefutura.

Should be some really good footy. Enjoy.

8 comments:

Solon said...

Does anyone have the exact numbers of Mexico's recent run of success against Brazil, which continued tonight?

A little bit back, Mexico had won 6 of 7 against the Brazilians. Even if I've forgotten a match they lost somewhere in the interim, they've now won 7 of 9 at worst, or 7 of 8 at best.

Those are flat-out wins, by the way, no draws. Que ridiculo.

It's almost certainly the best run anyone has had against Brasil since they got their shit together (post-Pele). Even pre-Pele, the only team that could possibly have had as good an extended run against Brazil was a 1920's or 1930's Uruguay.

Do any of the resident footie historians know if Brazil's ever had it this bad against anyone before?

Kanu said...

Countdown to Moin in three, two, one...

Kanu said...

This document shows every result up until 2004 for the senior national team.

Solon- I wonder if your stat included "lower" levels, as I know that Mexico beat Brasil 3-0 in the final of the FIFA U17 World Championship in 2005. I don't remember any others, and that doc says they lost 0-4 to The Selecao on the 2004 Copa.

As I said, Moin will be here soon enough to sort us out.

Solon said...

This is what I've got (from FIFA.com):

6/27/2007: Mexico 2:0 Brazil (Copa America)
6/19/2005: Mexico 1:0 Brazil (Confederations Cup)
7/18/2004: Mexico 0:4 Brazil (Copa America)
7/27/2003: Mexico 1:0 Brazil AET (Gold Cup)
7/13/2003: Mexico 1:0 Brazil (Gold Cup)
7/12/2001: Mexico 1:0 Brazil (Copa America)
8/4/1999: Mexico 4:3 Brazil (Confederations Cup)

There are also these two friendlies:
4/30/2003: Mexico 0:0 Brazil
3/7/2001: Mexico 3:3 Brazil

So the actual numbers are 5 wins out of 6 in competitive matches, or 6 of 7 if you include the U17 result. Certainly it's odd--I don't think Mexico is as good as Brazil--but I doubt any other country has had such a good run of "luck" against the Brazilians.

Solon said...

Sorry--obviously, that should read:

"the actual numbers are 6 wins out of 7 in competitive matches, or 7 out of 8 if you include the U17 result."

And (counting the friendlies), assuming you also count the U17 result, when was the last time a team played Brazil 10 times and only lost once?

Kanu said...

I always consider France to be Brasil's kryptonite.

2006 World Cup quarterfinal: France 1-0 Brasil

1998 World Cup final: France 3-0 Brasil {note: this is Brasil's worst ever defeat in an international match}

1986 World Cup semifinal: France beat Brazil on penalties in what Pele described as the best football match he ever saw

2001 FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal: France 2-1 Brasil

They also played to a 1-1 draw in a friendly tournament in France in 1997 {the one where Roberto Carlos scored on the insane free kick from 40 yards}.

To my knowledge the only time Brasil beat France was in the 1958 World Cup semifinal which Brasil won 5-2 thanks to a 17 year old Pele hat trick {France had a dude break his leg early when it was 1-0 Brasil and as there were no subs in those days played the rest of the match with 10 men against what some claim is the best team to ever take the field}.

So 3-1 in World Cups, giving them their worst international defeat ever, and 4-1 in international competitions,and 4-1-1 overall is pretty damn good as well.

Kanu said...

sorry, that 1986 World Cup match was a quarterfinal.

Solon said...

I know that France is the only team to shut Brazil out in consecutive matches in World Cup play.

Those teams also played in the "Tournoi de France," some sort of tournament a year before WC 1998, which was won by England. They played to a 1-1 draw.

I think there was a friendly draw in 2001, and Brazil beat them in a friendly in 1992. It's still a pretty good record.