|< Prev||Next >|
Chile and Uruguay secured direct passage to the Copa America quarter-finals as they both notched up solitary goal victories to send them safely through with the impressive Chileans finishing as Group C winners on 7 points and Uruguay as runners up on 5 points. Peru were already safely through themselves after Colombia's Monday win against Bolivia, a win which destined them to a finish as one of the top two third-placed teams.
Both Chile and Peru made several changes to their starting line-ups, with qualification already ensured. The Chileans made six in total while the Peruvians fielded a significant nine. The game had little goalmouth action as the two teams hardly had to fight tooth-and-nail and looked to be settling for a â€˜sporting' draw, until substitute Andre Carrillo bundled into his own net from a 92nd-minute corner to give Chile a victory and ensure they finish as group winners. With the shots on target, doing all the talking - Chile had zero and Peru just two, the game was overall pretty disappointing save a combustible moment in the second half which saw both sides reduce to ten men. Carmona and Beausejour got a little too physical with each other and were both shown an early exit.
Claudio Borghi's Chile had the better of the opening period and made the running in the second half as well, with Esteban Paredes, Humberto Suazo both missing well carved-out chances. Peru, regrettably missed their share of guilt-edge opportunities with Michael Guevara and William Chiroque missing the targets after being well placed inside the box. Superstar forward Alexis Sanchez was introduced after 58 minutes and terrified the Peruvian defence time and again. He was to make them pay at the death, when he looked to have set up Suazo but Christian Ramos intervened and conceded the corner where all hell broke loose in the Peruvian box. In a late moment of madness, Peru keeper Salomon Libman came out to collect an inviting ball, but ended up flailing at thin air; the ball meanwhile hit a shocked Carrillo and nestled in the back of the net to hand Chile the win. Peru still progress and will likely face one of the top teams in the 8-team pool which constitutes the quarter-finalists.
In the second, more crucial game of the night Uruguay prevailed over Mexico courtesy of a 14th minute winner by Alvaro Perreira in what was a keenly contested and very cagey encounter. Mexico had but one shot in the entire game and Uruguay themselves only managed to trouble the keeper once more out of three total attempts, playing out the game with discipline and solid defensive organisation to secure second spot in Group C and qualification to the next round. They had in the previous two games conceded goals against the run of play and failed to take their chances and it was clear that they had worked on their defensive discipline and keeping their focus throughout the ninety minutes. It was their safety-first strategy post the early goal which stifled Mexico and secured their quarter final berth. Uruguay have a tough quarter-final in prospect against hosts Argentina, who finished second in Group A.
The focus now turns to Group B where Brazil must win against the struggling Ecuador to avoid the embarrassment of an early exit. Venezuela's participation in the quarters is all but confirmed and Paraguay must beat them in order to be certain of their own fortunes. Draws in both games will see Brazil and Paraguay through, as Costa Rica have a goal difference of -2, will is lower than the 0 of both Brazil and Paraguay should the case arise. In fact, a draw is enough for both Brazil and Paraguay to make it to the last eight with Venezuela already having qualified from the group.
File Photograph Copyright:Â·Ryu Voelkel
- 18/07/2011 09:35 - Giant Killing in Copa America continues. Out go Brazil, Chile
- 17/07/2011 09:57 - Copa America: Argentina dumped out by Uruguay; Peru prevail
- 14/07/2011 10:20 - Copa America Wednesday Wrap: Brazil beat Ecuador 4-2, Paraguay 3-3 Venezuela