COPA AMERICA: The battle for the semi-finals

The 46th edition of the Copa America is currently underway in Brazil. The event which involves 12 teams began on June 14 and will end on July 7. The world will be treated to a spectacle of football heavyweights such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Colombia. The three-week tournament brings some of the world’s top players together, such as Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Brazil’s Philipe Coutinho, and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez.

As the battle for the quarters hits up, a number of teams have already booked a slot in the position. Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Brazil have already made it to the quarters and will now take their chances in the quest for a spot in the semis and perhaps the finals.

With a number of matches already played, the 2019 Copa America is slowly shaping into a five-horse race. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile are the teams with better chances of sailing through to the semis. We take a look at those teams to explain why they are better suited for the semi-finals.

Brazil’s stats

Brazil are currently ranked third in the FIFA world rankings with 1681 points. Brazil were kicked out of the 2016 competition in the group stage after they were beaten 1-0 in a controversial match against Peru.

Tite’s side have won the Copa America eight times. The last time Brazil emerged the winner in the tournament was in 2007 after beating Argentina 3-0 in Venezuela. Brazil have won four of their last five matches. They thrashed Peru 5-0 in their last Copa America group match on June 22, emerging at the top of Group A with seven points after winning two times and drawing once in the group stage matches.

Early this month, Brazil suffered a blow after PSG’s ace Neymar got an injury during a friendly match against Qatar on June 6. The ankle injury forced the 27-year-old out of the Copa America tournament.

Argentina’s stats

Lionel Scaloni’s side are currently in position 11 in the FIFA world rankings. Argentina have won the Copa America title 14 times, last time in 1993. They will be seeking to add more to their tally during this year’s tournament.

Goals from Sergio Aguero and Lautaro Martinex against Qatar on June 23 helped the La Albiceleste to sail through to the quarter-finals. Argentina will now battle it out for the semifinals spot alongside the toughest opponents.

Lionel Scaloni’s side have won three of their last five matches played. Argentina emerged second in Group B after picking four points in three games. They will be counting on their top players such as Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, in order to be assured of the semi-finals spot and perhaps the finals.

Colombia’s stats

Colombia had a perfect start in the tournament after winning all three group stage matches to emerge at the top of Group B with nine points. Carlos Queiroz’s side beat Paraguay 1-0 in their last group stage match on June 23 to reach the quarterfinals.

They have won five of their last six matches. However, they will need to overcome Chile and Brazil in the quarters in order to book a space in the semis. Colombia are currently 13th in the FIFA world rankings with 1580 points.

Colombia won their first ever Copa America title in 2001, when they hosted the tournament and beat Mexico 1-0. Queiroz’s side will work extra hard this time around in their quest for the second title.

Uruguay’s stats

Uruguay are eighth-placed in the FIFA world rankings with 1615 points. Uruguay finished first in Group C after winning two matches and drawing once. La Celeste beat Chile 1-0 in their last group match on June 24 to reach the tournament’s quarterfinals.

Óscar Tabárez’s side have won four of their last five matches played. They have scored seven goals in their last three appearances in the Copa America tournament showing their thirst for goals.

Uruguay is the most successful team in the tournament with 15 titles to its name. They last lifted the Copa America title eight years ago after beating Paraguay 3-0. Tabárez’s side are among the favorites for this year’s title and will do whatever it takes to reach the semis and finals.

Chile’s stats

Chile have won three of their last five matches. Chile are the tournament’s defending champions after they emerged victorious in 2016 beating Argentina in the penalty shoot out. Although Chile are a strong team, they suffered a setback after losing to Uruguay in their group stage match emerging second in Group B. But this won’t stop them from causing trouble in the quarters.

Reinaldo Rueda’s side are in position 16 in FIFA world rankings with 1561 points. The fact that they were able to overcome big teams in the 2016 edition of the tournament, means Rueda’s side will be a team to beat in the tournament.

Five teams have a shot to reach the semis

Judging from the above data, all the five teams have a shot at reaching the 2019 Copa America semifinals. They are in good form based on their impressive record of the past few matches. It means, nothing will prevent them from putting out a tough fight to ensure they make it to the semis.

Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Uruguay have strong squads and are better placed to reach the semi finals. However, we expect a tough battle in the quarters as all the above teams will be taking on equally tough opponents.

Photo by SachinDaluja via Wikicommons (CC BY 2.0)

Install Mobsports on your Phone

Enable Notifications.    Ok No thanks