Friday, July 01, 2016

Red hot Chile rule the Americas

A year after Chile hosted and won the 2015 Copa America, the Copa America Centenario was hosted by USA in a celebration of the centenary of the South American football confederation. The 10 South American countries, hosts USA plus Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Haiti and Panama took part in the competition.
The Americans topped group A ahead of Colombia after sweeping Costa Rica aside 4-0 and watching Costa Rica shock Colombia 3-2 in the final match of the group.
In group B Brazil were held to a goalless draw by Ecuador and despite hammering Haiti 7-1 with a hat-trick from Coutinho were eliminated after losing controversially 1-0 to group winners Peru.
In group C with both teams reduced to 10 men, Mexico scored 2 late goals to overcome Uruguay 3-1 and with the Uruguayans suffering a shock 1-0 loss to Venezuela, their 3-0 win over Jamaica was a mere consolation while Mexico, who defeated Jamaica 1-0, were group winners on goal difference ahead of Venezuela after tying with them 1-1 on the final group day.
Argentina and Chile progressed from group D while Panama beat Bolivia 2-1 into 3rd place. Ten-man Panama were pummelled 5-0 by group winners Argentina with a hat-trick from Lionel Messi.
Chile demolished Mexico 7-0 with 4 goals from Vargas in the quarter finals while Argentina brushed Venezuela aside 4-1 before burying their American hosts 4-0 to reach the final.
The USA finished 4th in the tournament after losing 1-0 to Colombia while in the final Chile and Argentina played out a goalless match with the Chileans winning on penalties and moving to the top of the football rankings having seen Messi miss his spot kick for Argentina.