The Copa America has finally reached its halfway point for the group stages as a few teams have qualified for the knockouts. At the same time, certain teams have started to slow down and struggle as the tournament drags on. Players such as Neymar and Messi have put in incredible performances across their games as they look to bring the trophy back home.

Group A had all teams, but Bolivia, play as Chile and Argentina clinched their spots in the next round. While tournament favorites Brazil didn’t play in group B, all other teams in the group play with no team clinching a spot in the knockouts. 

Venezuela VS Ecuador

Venezuela and Ecuador opened up play for both the third matchday and group B as they both look to move out of the basement of the group. Venezuela still missing players due to COVID have slowly started to turn things around as they are starting to find their stride. Ecuador, off a loss to Colombia, has had the last matchday off and came in with fresh legs.

The first half would open with Ecuador taking control of the game as Venezuela seemed more content to hit on the counter and absorb pressure. Ecuador would take the lead in the 39th minute after a bungled save after a set piece header that would be converted by Ayrton Precaido. A perfect end to the half for Ecuador as they looked to grab their first win of the tournament.

Venezuela continued their gameplan from the first half and would get a quick goal with Edson Castillo heading in a cross from José Martínez. Ecuador would jump right back into the game with Gonzalo Plata scoring after running the length of the field off a missed corner by Venezuela. Ecuador thought they had the win but at the death,  Ronald Hernández of Atlanta United would head in an incredible pass from Luis Martinez to end the game in a tie.

Colombia VS Peru

Colombia would take on Peru in Goiânia as both teams look to get their tournaments back on track as Colombia was off a surprise draw against Venezuela while Peru had just been demolished by Brazil. Colombia has struggled for a clinical touch as it becomes more and more confusing that Duván Zapata has not really featured in the opening games. Peru, a finalist at the last Copa America, looks to better their defense and attack as they both look dull against Brazil.

Colombia looked to change their run of form by finally inserting Zapata in the starting lineup as they desperately needed that change. However, Peru would score within the first 15 minutes as Sergio Peña would volley in a rebound. In a similar vein of the past few games, Colombia was struggling to get quality chances despite all their talent across the pitch.

The second half would open with Colombia feeling the urgency that the moment called for as they got into the correct positions. Within five minutes, Colombia would get a penalty as Miguel Borja would be taken out by the keeper and Borja would convert it. After withstanding some Colombian attacks, Peru would finally get a corner and force an error from Yerry Mina giving Peru the win.

Uruguay VS Chile

An interesting contest between two contenders awaited viewers with this game between Uruguay and Chile. Uruguay had lost to Argentina and looked to reestablish themselves amongst the contenders as Cavani and Suárez looked to finally get firing. Chile, at the moment, looks to be a force in the tournament as the younger players are replacing the golden generation that won Chile two Copas in a row.

Uruguay started the first half strong with both Cavani and Suárez combining for some good moments with Cavani almost scoring from an offsides position. Chile grew into the game and would finally score through Eduardo Vargas after a great give and go with Ben Brereton. As the first half came to an end, Uruguay continued to attack and had a few quality chances.

The second half would open up with both sides exchanging blows as Brereton would get close for Chile and Facundo Torres going close for Uruguay. After that shot by Torres, Uruguay would get a corner that Suárez would get at the end to tie the game. The game would end the way the game had gone with both sides again getting close to scoring but neither side was able to get that winner.

Argentina VS Paraguay

Argentina would take on Paraguay to end the third matchday as well as group A play with two sides with differing hopes. Argentina looks to be  the second best team in the tournament only behind the might Brazil side. While Paraguay struggled for the most part against Bolivia, they were still able to win and had a good chance to get to the next stage.

Argentina started the first half looking to kill the game very early with their attack, especially Augero, hunting for that first goal. They would eventually get their goal from Papu Gómez with an assist by Ángel Di María. Argentina would continue their pressure and would get a few good chances, the best being a free kick going wide from Messi.

The second half would have Paraguay coming out as the more adventurous of the two sides as they were able to pin Argentina back a few times. Argentina would have a good chance towards the end of the match but Paraguay was able to stunt their attack. Ultimately this game would end 1-0 and Argentina was able to confirm their place in the next round. 

Featured Image: Miguel Schincarol/Getty

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