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Copa America Centenario: MD3 Review

The final round of Copa group games saw the quarter final placings decided. Despite losing to Costa Rica, Colombia made it through from Group A, while Brazil were dumped out of Group B thanks to a controversial Peruvian winner. Argentina are the only team to go 3-0 in the group stages and are definite favourites now Brazil are out.


Group A

United States 1 (Dempsey) – Paraguay

Clint Dempsey’s 51st goal for the USMNT was enough to send them through to the knockout stages. The former Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur man is now just six goals behind all-time record scorer Landon Donovan. Dempsey (27’) scored off an assist from Gyasi Zardes, as their forward partnership continues to blossom. They could have been behind before it had John Brooks not saved a 3-on-1 situation with a goal-saving tackle. The second half started with DeAndre Yedlin getting sent off for two bookable offences in a minute but the USA held on with ten men to get the three points they needed.

Colombia 2 (Fabra, Moreno) – Costa Rica 3 (Venegas, Fabra og, Borges)

The Colombians were stunned by Costa Rica, and fell to second place in the group, behind the USA. The Costa Ricans got off to a lightning quick start when Johan Venegas (2’) scored a wonderful goal to put them in front. However, just four minutes later, Frank Fabra (6’) equalised for Colombia. However, Fabra (og 34’) then made history by becoming the first person to score a goal and own goal in the same game in a Copa tournament. That made it 2-1 at half time, and it soon became 3-1 when Celso Borges (58’) finished off a well worked move. Colombia got one back late on through Marlos Moreno (73’) but they fell to a surprise defeat.

Despite Colombia beating the USA in the opening round of group matches, it is the USA who top the group on goal difference. Colombia go through in second while Costa Rica miss out despite victory. Paraguay finished bottom with just a point.


Group B

Ecuador 4 (E Valencia, Ayovi, Noboa, A Valencia) – Haiti 0

Needing to win by two to go through, Ecuador ran riot against Haiti, scoring four to ensure their passage through to the quarter finals. They started early with West Ham man Enner Valencia (11’) opening the scoring. He then assisted Jaime Ayovi (20’) for the second and his namesake Antonio Valencia (78’), the Manchester United winger, for the final goal. Christian Noboa (57’) had made it 3-0 in between as Ecuador ensured a second place finish in Group B, no matter what the result of the Brazil-Peru game.

Brazil 0 – Peru 1 (Ruidiaz)

Brazil were shocked on Sunday night as Peru got the win to go through. However, there will be endless discussions about the winning goal. Despite Brazil not playing brilliantly, they did not deserve to get knocked out of the tournament via a goal like this. Raul Ruidiaz clearly punched the ball into the back of the Brazilian net, but after extensive conversations with his fellow officials, the referee gave the goal, sending Peru through as group winners.

Peru and Ecuador go through as 1st and 2nd, with Brazil the unlucky party in Group B, falling to 3rd. Haiti did not score a point but will go away feeling proud of their performances in the Copa.


Group C

Mexico 1 (Corona) – Venezuela 1 (Velasquez)

A goal in either half for the two already-qualified teams in Group C was enough for a draw, and for Mexico to take top spot. It was the Venezuelans that took the lead early through Jose Manuel Velasquez (10’). He scored a perfect scissor kick from a well worked free kick. Mexico then came out, going at the Venezuela defence and eventually, they broke them down. Jesus Manuel Corona (80’) got the equaliser ten minutes from time to get a point in the game for El Tri.

Uruguay 3 (Hernandez, Watson og, Corujo) – Jamaica 0

After already both being knocked out, this one was all about pride, and finally the Uruguayans showed some. Hull City’s Abel Hernandez (21’) opened the scoring in the first half, with Luis Suarez still not on the field. He did not get on and did not play a single minute in the tournament. The second half saw Jamaica concede again,this time through one of their own. Je-Vaughn Watson (og 66’) put through his own net, before Mathias Corujo (88’) secured the victory late on.

Mexico top the group on goal difference (+4) with Venezuela (+2) in second place, both having got 7 points from their three games. Uruguay finished third with that victory, but Jamaica are still goalless in six Copa games in the last two years.


Group D

Chile 4 (Vargas 2, Sanchez 2) – Panama 2 (Carmago, Arroyo)

With several players out through suspension or injury, Panama went down to Chile, but did score twice against the reigning Champions. They took the lead early through Miguel Camargo (5’)but two goals from Eduardo Vargas (15’, 43’) put the Chilean side in front before the break. Their lead was doubled by Alexis Sanchez (50’) soon after. However, Abdiel Arroyo (75’) got one back for Panama to make the last fifteen minutes nervy for Chile. Their main man Sanchez (89’) got his second late on though to seal the win and second place in the group.

CHI - Vargas, Sanchez

Argentina 3 (Lamela, Lavezzi, Cuesta) – Bolivia 0

Two early goals put Argentina in cruise control in their final match, as they finish with a perfect record in Group D. Erik Lamela (13’) and Ezequiel Lavezzi (15’) got Argentina off to a great start, making it 2-0 to the favourites inside the opening quarter of an hour. They were three up soon after, when Victor Cuesta (32’) finished off a great pass from Lavezzi. Messi came on in the second half and nearly scored twice, but the Argentinians finished with ten goals and only one against. A daunting prospect considering Messi has only played 75 minutes so far.

Argentina are the only team with a perfect 3-0 record and top the group, while Chile follow them through in second. Panama and Bolivia are the two teams to drop out of the tournament at this stage.


So the quarter final line-up is this: USA-Ecuador, Peru-Colombia, Argentina-Venezuela, Mexico-Chile.

ARG BOL BRA CA2016 CHI COL CopaAmerica CopaCentenario CRC Dempsey ECU Fabra HAI Hernandez JAM Lamela Lavezzi MEX MyCopaColors PAN PAR PER Ruidiaz URU usa Vargas VEN

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