Thursday, 14 July 2011

Copa América 2011 - Matchday 3 Round Up

Group A

Colombia 2-0 Bolivia
Argentina 3-0 Costa Rica

Colombia wrapped up top spot in Group A when they were first up against Bolivia in Santa on Sunday. Radamel Falcao put Colombia ahead with fifteen minutes gone when he sprung the Bolivian offside trap to latch onto a Dayro Moreno pass and beat Carlos Arias at the far post. The prolific Porto striker got his and Colombia's second from the spot on the half hour after Santos Amador bought Pablo Armero down with referee Francisco Chacon had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The following night in Cordoba, Argentina knew it was win at all costs to guarantee a spot in the last eight. After dominating the first half the Albiceleste took the lead in injury time at the end of the first half. Costa Rica goalkeeper Leonel Moreira spilled a shot and Sergio Agüero was first to react to settle the crowds nerve. Lionel Messi came to the party in the second half, his pass set up Agüero to get his second eight minutes after the break and eleven minutes later another superb Messi pass put Ángel di María in to slam home the third and secure second spot in the group.

Group C

Chile 1-0 Peru
Uruguay 1-0 Mexico

The set up of the competition meant that Group C was completed before Group B and Chile wrapped up top spot after an injury time goal gave them victory over Peru. The big flash point came just after the hour when Brazilian referee Salvio Spinola Fagundes Filho dismissed Jean Beausejour of Chile and Giancarlo Carmona after they clashed off the ball. The goal came when Peru goalkeeper Saloman Libman flapped at a corner and the ball hit the unfortunate Peru substitute Andre Carillo and the ball rolled over the line but Peru were still to make the last eight. Uruguay were another team who needed a victory to secure their place in the last 8 and they just about managed to see off the understrength Mexico side in La Plata. Uruguay took the lead with fifteen minutes gone when Mexico goalkeeper Luis Michel fumbled a shot and Álvaro Pereira was on hand to stab the ball home. Diego Forlán should have made it two before the break but hit the post when it was easier to his the back of the net. Mexico thought they had grabbed a second half equalizer through Rafal Marquez Lugo but they were denied by the linesman's offside call.

Group B

Paraguay 3-3 Venezuela
Brazil 4-2 Ecuador

The group of few goals, ended up being the group of many goal as both Matchday 3 games saw a total of 12 goals between them. First up in Salta were Paraguay and Venezuela where a great comeback from Venezuela capped a remarkable match. Venezuela took the lead with just five minutes on the clock when Saloman Rondón beat Justo villar from the edge of the area. Paraguay levelled with 33 mintues gone, pressure told and Antolin Alcáraz fired home after a right old schemozzle in the penalty area. Paraguay went ahead just after the hour and from another set piece Lucas Barrios was on hand to tap home. When Cristian Riveros headed home a Aureliano Torres free kick with four minutes to go you thought that was game set and match. Someone forget to tell Venezuela, in the last minute a Nicolas Fedor shot was deflected past Justo Villar and deep into injury time goalkeeper Renny Vega climbed highest at a corner and Grenddy Perozo was unmarked at the back post to level matters and send both teams through. Last up in Córdoba saw Brazil make hard work of winning Group B and getting into the last eight. Alexander Pato put Brazil ahead when he nodded home an Andre Santos cross just before the half hour. It took Ecuador only seven minutes to level, Cristian Benítez set up Felipe Caicedo and his short squirmed under Júlio César and into the net. Four minutes after the break Brazil were back in front in a move off the Santos training ground. Paulo Henrique Ganso with the pass and Neymar with the finish. Ecuador struck back again on the hour, Caicedo turning on the edge of the area to pick up his second of the game. The teams were level for less than a minutes, Ecuador goalkeeper Marcelo Elizaga spilled a Ganso shot and Alexander Pato was quickest to react and bundle the ball home. Eighteen minutes from time Brazil wrapped things up, Maicon got down the right hand wing and his cross found Neymar unmarked and he slotted home to pick up his second of the game.

The competition moves into the knockout stages from Saturday, with a new format from this tournament which sees extra time being played instead of ties going straight to penalties. They line up like this

Colombia v Peru - Saturday 2000, Córdoba
Argentina v Uruguay - Saturday 2315, Santa
Brazil v Paraguay - Sunday 2000, La Plata
Chile v Venezuela - Sunday 2315, San Juan

No comments: