17 Jun Soccer Insights: June, Vol. 2: #COPA100 Group Stage Recap
Group stages came to a close on Tuesday with two wins for Chile and Argentina as they advance into the quarterfinals. Here is a brief recap of the surprises, the results and what to watch for next.
- The Copa America Centenario kicked off June 3rd with the opening matchup between the host country, United States, and Colombia. The hopes were soaring high for the US, coming into the tournament on a three game win streak in May, but they seemed far outmatched by a very strong and talented Colombian squad. The lack of offensive production was vastly apparent throughout the whole game as Colombia held steady to capture three points and a 2-0 victory.
- The 1.536 million viewers is the second most-watched men’s soccer game in the history of Fox Sports 1, trailing only the CONCACAF Cup final between Mexico and USA from last fall.
- Costa Rica and Paraguay faced off in their debut game of this year’s tournament. The match ended in a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes of unimposing play from both sides.
- USA displayed a dominant performance in the second round of the group stage, defeating Costa Rica 4-0 in a must win match.
- Costa Rica shocked Colombia in the last match of Group A play, winning 3-2, giving the USA a helping hand in winning the group off of goal differential. The USA have now set themselves up with a golden path to make history.
Winner of Group A: USA
- After a very even, back-and-forth first half, Peru capitalized in the 61st minute off of a diving header from Paolo Guerrero to defeat Haiti 1-0. Guerrero became Peru’s all time leading goal scorer after his impressive goal to begin his COPA America Centenario campaign.
- With many big name Brazilian players sitting out of this tournament in order to be fully ready to compete in the Olympics, Brazil’s young talent had an opportunity to shine against a high energy Ecuadorian squad. Although the match ended in a 0-0 draw, both sides had their fare share of chances that could not be converted. A cross by Miller Bolanos, that led to an Ecuadorian goal, was called back after officials claimed the ball went out of bounds over the end line even though the replay showed other wise.
- Brazil dominated the second game of Group B, defeating Haiti 7-1, with Coutinho Augusto accounting for five of the seven goals. Unfortunately, Brazil was eliminated from the tournament after a 0-1 loss to Peru in the last game of Group B play. The game winning goal was scored by Ruidiaz after he blatantly knocked the ball into the net with his hand.
- Shockingly, Peru wins Group B after being projected to not even make it out of the group stage of the tournament. Ecuador also advances to the next round with two draws and a 4-0 win over Haiti.
Winner of Group B: Peru
Runner up: Ecuador
- Venezuela held on to defeat 10 man Jamaican team 1-0 in the first round of action after an early red card in the second half. Josef Martinez’s goal was enough to secure Venezuela’s second win in the last 16 games.
- Mexico displayed dominant play as they go unbeaten in the group stage with two wins and a 1-1 draw against Venezuela. Jesus Corona continues to impress in this year’s tournament as Mexico’s performance shows why they are a serious contender to win it all.
- Venezuela also moves on to the quarterfinals, tying Mexico with 7 points atop of the group but fell short on goal differential.
- On the other hand, Uruguay demonstrated a forgettable performance through out group play and missed their shot at making an impact on the tournament. Their star attacker, Luis Suarez, was unable to perform in all three of their group play matches.
Winner of Group C: Mexico
Runner up: Venezuela
- Group D opened up with a rematch of last years final between Argentina and Chile. This time, Argentina had the upper hand, defeating Chile 2-1 without superstar Messi.
- After their opening round loss in this years COPA America Centenario, Chile struggled to get past Bolivia in the second round, getting a fortunate hand ball call in the box to secure a 2-1 victory.
- Argentina defeated Panama 5-0 in their second match of group play as Messi took the pitch in the second half for the first time of the tournament. He did what the best player in the world does, scoring a hat trick in a 20-minute time span.
- Argentina advances into the quarterfinals looking as if no one can stop them. They remain this year’s favorite to win the title and are the only team to record victories in all three of their group round matches.
- Chile hit their stride moving into the quarterfinals, defeating Panama 4-2, as Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal look to carry their team back to another COPA America final.
Winner of Group D: Argentina
Runner up: Chile
— QUARTERFINALS —
Yesterday the quarterfinals kicked off with Copa America host, USA, winning 2-0 over Ecuador at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Team USA is the first team to advance into the semifinals and is now one win away from the Copa America final.
— What to watch for this weekend —