Thursday, July 5, 2007

Copa America Update: Quarterfinals Set

Copa America has made for good watching this time around, with lots of goals, good attacking play and overall positive footy during the first two rounds of group stage games, which saw 43 goals in 12 matches or 3.6 goals per match, and not a single scoreless draw. An overall better display than last summer's World Cup, which is so massively important that teams play not to lose much moreso than playing to win, which results in more defensive and less free-flowing and exciting matches. As is the case with most tournaments, things have tightened up a bit in the final round of the group stage which determined who goes on to the knockout stage and who goes home: only 5 goals in the 4 matches played Tuesday and yesterday, with 2 scoreless draws. Not nearly as enjoyable a spectacle, but even so, overall we're still at 3 goals per match which is pretty good {48 goals in 16 matches}.

Sorry, I don't have time to go find all the highlights and post them, but if there is a match you are interested in just YouTube the two team names, sort by date added, and you'll be set.

Today is the final set of group matches in Group C, but neither the US or Colombia has any chance to qualify as one of the top 2 3rd place teams, so the only thing to be decided tonight will be who goes through as group winners and who goes through as runners-up between Argentina and Paraguay. The group winner gets Peru in the quarterfinal, the runner up gets Mexico.

Here are the standings before tonight's final Group C matches with the qualified teams in bold:

 GROUP A        GP  W   L   D  Pts  GF  GA  G/Dif
Venezuela 3 1 0 2 5 4 2 +2
Peru 3 1 1 1 4 5 4 +1
Uruguay 3 1 1 1 4 1 3 -2
Bolivia 3 0 1 2 2 4 5 -1

Peru 3-0 Uruguay
Venezuela 2-2 Bolivia
Uruguay 1-0 Bolivia
Venezuela 2-0 Peru
Peru 2-2 Bolivia
Venezuela 0-0 Uruguay

Mexico 3 2 0 1 7 4 1 +3
Brasil 3 2 1 0 6 4 2 +2
Chile 3 1 1 1 4 3 5 -2
Ecuador 3 0 3 0 0 3 6 -3

Mexico 2-0 Brasil
Chile 3-2 Ecuador
Brasil 3-0 Chile
Mexico 2-1 Ecuador
Mexico 0-0 Chile
Brasil 1-0 Ecuador

Paraguay 2 2 0 0 6 8 1 +7
Argentina 2 2 0 0 6 8 3 +5
United States 2 0 2 0 0 2 7 -5
Colombia 2 0 2 0 0 2 9 -7

Paraguay 5-0 Colombia
Argentina 4-1 United States
Paraguay 3-1 United States
Argentina 4-2 Colombia
Argentina - Paraguay
Colombia - United States
The quarterfinals will be Saturday and Sunday and things will get very interesting, not only because we'll be in the knockout stage, but remember that in Copa America there is no extra time, so if a match is tied after 90 minutes then it's straight to penalties.

Venezuela(1A)-Uruguay(3rd place #2)
Brasil(2B)-Chile(3rd place #1)

Mexico(1B)-Group C #2
Group C #1-Peru(2A)

It is just me or is it silly that Venuzuela is playing the 3rd place team from their own group and Brasil is playing the 3rd place from their own group, meaning 2 replays of matches that have already occurred? In the future they should add the MLB Divisional Playoff Rule to avoid this; I would much rather see Venezuela play Chile and Brasil play Uruguay...

I missed the Brasil match yesterday because I was exploring, so I missed out on the hilarity of the 'Wagner Loooooove" references by the Univision announcer every 2 minutes. Hoping to correct that on Saturday; it is the funniest shit from the announcer since the constant references to David Beckham as "Spiceman" and "Mister Spice" during the World Cup last summer.

Watch Argentina this if you get a chance; they are fielding damn near a dream team. Not sure how hard they will try tonight with not a whole lot on the line {although I would think they would prefer a QF date with Peru to a Mexico team that took them to the brink in the World Cup round of 16}, but on Sunday check them out if you can- they are playing beautiful stuff and have kept the diving, rolling, and playacting mainly in check to this point.

From what I have seen I will be shocked if Argentina don't win the competition at a canter, but with the straight-to-penalties thing I suppose anything can happen. Enjoy.

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