10 best goals from Copa America 2021
The Copa America did not feature the usual noise and celebrations offered by its fans, but that did not hinder the performances on the ground. The South American Championship has precedence for skills and tricks over tactics and organization. There is more pace and strength in their football than from anywhere else in the world. The street style ingenuity is visible in the style of play of the CONMEBOL countries. Hence, like always we have been privy to some amazing goals in the tournament once again. FootTheBall looks at the top ten goals from Copa America 2021.
10. NEYMAR VS PERU
Neymar was absolutely outstanding in this tournament. Barring Messi, he has been the most influential player in this year’s campaign. Simply the best Brazilian on the field and almost always the best player in the ninety. He did not score one of those stunning goals that have been a trademark of his football but his goal against Peru from outside the box was still brilliant.
Neymar turned with the ball and slotted in a low drive between the defender’s leg past the reach of the goalkeeper. A well-worked goal that initially sends the keeper the wrong way, thus making it difficult for him to get his hands on the ball
9. EDUARDO VARGAS VS URUGUAY
Chile did not have the campaign to remember. They were poor in almost all departments and apart from a draw against Argentina they were very unimpressive. However, Eduardo Vargas did produce a moment of brilliance for his side when he scored a stunning goal against Uruguay.
Vargas played a quick wall pass with his teammate to run in behind the left half-channel of the Uruguay defence with the ball at his feet. He made use of the space and drifted in behind towards the goal and from a very tight angle powered the ball to the far top corner of the goal.
8. LIONEL MESSI VS ECUADOR
Although Messi missed a big chance in the game, he was the best player for the majority of the ninety. At the very end, the legend showed his class as he slotted in a beauty of a freekick from just outside the penalty box. The referee had initially pointed to the spot but upon VAR check, he reverted it to a freekick.
For Messi though, it did not matter as long as it was a dead ball situation. La Pulga sends the ball to the near side of the keeper from the very edge of the box and all though the keeper got an outstretched hand, he was unable to get any significant contact if any. Is there anyone better than the little magician in such situations?
7. JUAN CUADRADO VS PERU
Colombia did reach the semi-final and what a performance it was to do so. They did better than some of the stronger sides in the tournament and produced quality moments in those matchups.
Juan Cuadrado slotted in a goal from a free-kick from outside the box. A right footed shot from the right-hand side of the field. An accurate curler in-between the poorly formed wall took the keeper by surprise. Although he changed his feet quickly in an attempt to parry the ball away, it was fruitless. A deft freekick that the player is sure to remember for a long long time.
6. LUIS DIAZ VS PERU
Peru has been really lucky to reach far into the competition as they have been on the receiving end of some incredible goals. In the same game Cuadrado scored the marvellous free-kick, Luis Diaz belted in a venomous shot from far out to give Colombia the edge in the match.
— Luis Fernando Díaz (@LuisFDiaz19) July 10, 2021
Diaz received the ball on the edge of the box as he was cutting in towards goal and started to drift away from the post. Incoming challenges forced him further back but the player set himself with enough touches for what was an absolute beauty of a shot. The keeper had no chance as the ball curled into the top right corner of the goal. A deserving goal among the best goals in Copa America.
5. PAPU GOMEZ VS BOLIVIA
It was no surprise as Argentina beat Bolivia and it was once again a match where Messi stood out. An exquisite turn from Messi in front of a tight defensive line to set up a beautiful chip for Papu Gomez who continued his run in behind the defence.
It was simply marvellous to watch as the ball flew straight into the path of Gomez in between a herd of defenders. The touch to score was even better. A brilliant side-footed volley from close range into the far top corner left the keeper in dismay. He did not even have the time to raise his hands in an attempt to block the goal. One among many great goals for Argentina in the tournament.
4. EDWIN CARDONA VS ECUADOR
Colombia had a plethora of good goals in the tournament and none had a better team performance than this one. A brilliant set-piece routine from Colombia to score an easy goal against Ecuador. Edwin Cardona might not have had a simpler goal in his career.
Cardona poised himself to take the free-kick but instead passed it to Cuadrado and made a run in behind the Ecuador defensive line. Cuadrado chipped in the ball towards the swarm of yellow players, one of whom headed it down for Cardona to half volley into the back of the net. Unchallenged by any from Ecuador, the keeper could only stand and watch the brilliance of the Colombian players.
3. LIONEL MESSI VS CHILE
Argentina has had a bitter rivalry with Chile ever since they beat La Albiceleste in the consecutive Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016. Argentina was not going to lose against them even if it was just a group game. Lionel Messi had a personal vendetta and he ended it with a tournament-best free-kick.
A classic Messi free-kick from well outside the box, curling into the top right corner of the net past an outstretched keeper. The goalkeeper managed fingertips on the ball but it was just not enough to keep it from going in. Lionel Messi once again bossed the show and all it took was a dead ball. The King of Freekicks!
2. ANGEL DI MARIA VS BRAZIL
Renan Lodi perhaps should have dealt with the long ball from midfield. Maybe it was just too little out of his reach but nonetheless, Di Maria’s finish was nothing short of exquisite. What else should one call a deft touch that took the ball up and above the keeper and delicately into the net? The goal that earned Argentina their long-awaited trophy and Messi’s first-ever international prize.
Siempre te quisimos 💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/2a7E1q6if0
— Selección Argentina 🇦🇷 (@Argentina) July 11, 2021
A superb touch to control the ball and a cool finish to slot in the goal. Ederson was left stranded as he watched the ball bounce into his net. Renan Lodi and the rest of the Brazilian defence might have felt they could have dealt with it but it takes nothing away from the finish. Di Maria always delivers when he is most needed.
1. LUIS DIAZ VS BRAZIL
Brazil’s defence was rock-solid in the campaign and it comes as no surprise that it took wonder strikes to breach their wall. Colombia’s Luis Diaz already made this list once for his venomous shot but this one was just outstanding.
There was no way any keeper was laying a finger on that finish. It was once again Cuadradro that put in the ball to create a goal. An in-swinging ball that found its way to Diaz on the far corner of the box. Diaz was ready to pounce as it neared him, a thunderous over-the-head kick against leaders Brazil. The goal was nothing short of deserving in this top ten list. Copa America was once again a treat to watch.