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Copa America 2016: Eight Unsung Heroes From Group Stage

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The 2016 Centennial Copa America concluded its group stage matches with eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals, following is the summary of some unknown players who shined and helped their squads to reach the next round:

Edwin Cardona

Edwin Cardona-Colombia

He is player from Mexico’s Monterrey and was a key figure in Colombia’s attack. The offensive midfielder helped the Colombian team to have a fluent game. Though he has not scored, Cardona has provided two balls for goal.

John Brooks

John Brooks-United States

Center defender from Germany’s Hertha Berlin has impressed with his great performances, two years after he scored the winning goal against Ghana in Brazil 2014 World Cup. Despite the defeat against Colombia in the opening match, Brooks led a defense line which has not received goals from moving balls during Centennial Copa America, especially during the games against Costa Rica and Paraguay.

Christian Noboa

Christian Noboa-Ecuador

The midfielder was very important in the field when Ecuador needed a victory against Haiti in the last game of the first round. Noboa helped Enner Valencia to score the goal at minute 11 and then he scored at minute 57. The final result was 4-0 in favor of Ecuador.

Christian Cueva

Christian Cueva-Peru

Few experts thought Peru would be winner of Group B, but the Peruvian squad is seeking to win the first Copa America since 1975, thanks especially to midfielder Cueva. He has controlled the midfield with a total of 105 complete passes to reach 87.5 percent of effectiveness. In the second game against Ecuador, Cueva scored one of the best goals of the regional tournament.

Alejandro Guerra

Alejandro Guerra-Venezuela

Venezuela does not have one of the best offensives in Centennial Copa America, but Guerra is a player who always tries to create goal opportunities for his team. He made an audacious play when Uruguay’s goalkeeper Fernando Muslera slapped the ball, which hit the goal and allowed Salomon Rondon to score the victory goal against the Uruguayan team. Guerra also helped to score the winner against Jamaica. He has 86 percent of effectiveness.

Jesus Manuel Corona

Jesus Manuel Corona-Mexico

None of the goals scored by Mexico was more important than the one Corona scored in the game against Venezuela at minute 80. The brilliant goal of Corona helped Mexico to tie with the Venezuelan team in the last game of the first round. With this result, Mexico ended first of Group C and avoided Argentina in quarterfinals. Corona also helped Mexican Javier Hernandez to score in the game against Jamaica.

Ever Banega

Ever Banega-Argentina

Without Lionel Messi in the first match against Chile, Argentina needed good players to lead its attack. Ever Banega, midfielder from Italy’s Milan Inter, was the leading figure in the game helping Angel Di Maria in the first goal and then scoring at minute 59. Banega has helped the Argentine offensive line with a 95.5 percent of complete passes.

Gonzalo Jara

Gonzalo Jara-Chile

One of the most efficient Chilean players in the first round has been Gonzalo Jara. He is defender at Chile’s Universidad de Chile and has played all the games of Centennial Copa America, completing 242 passes. He has an outstanding 91.3 percent of complete passes. He was a solid defender during the first round with 19 balls stopped.

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