With curtains falling on group stages of the Copa America, the South American outfits are preparing for the ultimate battle in the knockout stages.
A pandemic struck Copa America had constantly come under the scanner when Brazil was announced the hosts of the 46th edition of the world’s most decorated tournament. With questions shrouding the tournament, a bumpy ride was on the cards.
Venezuela’s shocking covid news on the eve of the tournament or the constant backlash the tournament has faced, the negatives surely existed. But the Brazilian samba and Lionel Messi’s star-studded performances boosted some points in the ‘Positives’ column.
With extreme physicality on display, this year’s Copa America could be confused with a wrestling match quite easily. Counting the stars could be an easier job rather than counting the fouls being committed in Brazil this summer.
SE VIENE LA QUINTA 🙌
🗓 Domingo y lunes se juega la Fecha 5 de la CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica 🏆 y estos son los partidos
A QUINTA ESTÁ VINDO 🙌
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 26, 2021
And with the Copa America extravaganza ready to deliver a jam-packed knockout round of exciting, jolly-fying, and entertaining 90 minutes we take a look at who could earn a ticket to the last-8 table and which two teams are going back home?
THE FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL IN GROUP-B
The second group of Copa America is where all the action exists. With three teams eyeing the knockout spots, a fierce matchday-5 awaits the spectators. South America’s treasured possession, Brazil are being deemed as favourites to retain the prestigious title. Neymar led Selecao have brushed aside every opposition they have encountered this summer.
A thumping victory against a depleted Venezuela outfit in the first match of the tournament announced their arrival. And Peru’s and Columbia’s demolition meant Brazil marched on to the business end of the tournament without any trouble. Tite’s army has been ruthless in their short journey and they would love to establish their name on the trophy once again.
Second-favourites in Group-B, a James Rodriguez-less Columbia have glued together to fabricate a few extinguishing performances. A goal in the dying stages by Brazil snatched away three points from their mouth but the Colombians manifested their dominance in Rio.
A glittering display throughout their group stage term, Los Cafeteros have secured qualification to the latter stages of the tournament. The only team to have played all their group-stage matches in Group-B, Colombia’s preparation for the knockout round of the Copa America is in full swing.
Things get heated up in the bottom half of the table. With Peru, Ecuador, and Venezuela all looking for a seat at the table, the real question remains which two teams will continue their fairytale and who’ll experience another heartbreak?
Peru and Venezuela lock-horns in one of the most anticipated matches in Group-B. With a knockout place on the line, the two teams would give their blood, sweat, and hard work to earn three points on Monday. If Ecuador fails to pick up points against Brazil, even a loss would do for Peru who comfortably occupies the third spot.
¿Cómo crees que terminará el Grupo B de la CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica 🏆?
NOS DIGA! ✍️
Como você acha que vai terminar o Grupo B da CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica 🏆?
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 26, 2021
But if Ecuador springs a surprise against a resilient Brazilian outfit, Peru would need at least a draw to secure themselves qualification. For Venezuela, the matter remains almost identical. But they need at least one point to qualify considering Brazil demolish Ecuador in the other fixture.
La Tricolor journey has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. With no wins in the first three matches, Ecuador could qualify for the knockout stages without lifting three points even once. But Gustavo Alfaro won’t want to finish on the wrong side of history as Venezuela’s victory against Peru could spoil Ecuador’s knockout party. Unfortunately, they have a hungry Brazilian side, looking to continue their goal-scoring feast, lying in front of them.
DON’T WANT TO FINISH FOURTH PLEASE
The situation in Group-A is quite light and breezy. With Bolivia already preparing to go back home, the last round of fixtures is about not facing an in-form Brazilian side. Uruguay bickers it out with an elated Paraguay side who recently captured the Chilean fort. While Uruguay’s form in the tournament has been below expectations, Paraguay has turned out to be the surprise of the tournament.
Sitting just behind a dominant Argentina side, Paraguay’s dreams of lifting silverware survives another day. A victory for Uruguay could help them avoid facing Brazil next week while dropping points could prove costly for Oscar Tabarez’s men.
Argentina has once again looked like a merciless outfit. 2 victories and one unfortunate stalemate, the Argentine train looks strong and robust for a brawl.