Copa America’s quarter final stage is finally here with plenty of exciting games that have contenders facing off against each other. This tournament has more than lived up to its hype as there has been exciting teams from favorites to underdogs and incredible performances from players of every team.
There was no round of 16 for the Copa America as only ten teams were invited so the tournament skipped right to the quarter finals. All the matchups proved to have some potential to be exciting, from favorites Brazil taking on favorites Chile to underdogs Peru and Paraguay playing against each other.
Peru VS Paraguay
Peru and Paraguay would open up the Copa America’s knockout stage play as both teams had up and down group stages but were able to come out of their groups. Peru, who finished second at the last Copa, have struggled to recapture that magic but still finished second in their group. Paraguay finished third in their group with two wins and two losses.
Paraguay would get the game going with a goal within the first eleven minutes as Gustavo Gómez would tap in a missed shot off a corner to put Paraguay up. Gómez would score an own goal within ten minutes after his goal to tie the game for Peru. Gianluca Lapadula would score for Peru putting them up before the half while Gómez would get sent off for Paraguay.
Despite being down a man and goal, Paraguay would score the equalizer within ten minutes of the second half as Júnior Alonso volleyed in a corner. Peru would find the lead yet again as the half winded down with Yoshimar Yotún’s shot ricocheting off a Paraguayan defender. André Carrillo would get sent off for Peru leaving both teams down a man and allowing Paraguay to tie the game again as Gabriel Ávalos would tap in a missed shot.
With the game being tied at the end of regular time, penalties awaited both teams as there is no extra time at this stage of the competition. Both teams would start by making their first two penalties and missing their third. After that the teams would alternate making and missing their penalties ultimately leading to Peru winning the shootout as Paraguay missed their last penalty.
Brazil VS Chile
A match between the current Copa America title holders and the winners of the two before their last one as Brazil would play Chile in a highly anticipated match. Brazil has been the team of the tournament so far as they have dealt with opponents with little to no issues. Chile started out the tournament on good footing but have started to stall as the tournament dragged on.
Both teams started the half with some good chances as Bobby Firmino got close for Brazil and Eduardo Vargas having the best chance for Chile. As the half wore on, Brazil continued to have good chances as they showed why they should be seen as the favorites for the tournament. The half would ultimately end as a tie with Brazil feeling the better of the two sides.
To enact a change, Brazil would sub on Lucas Paquetá at the half and this would pay dividends as Paquetá would finish off a great give and go with Neymar to put Brazil in front. A few minutes after the goal, Gabriel Jesus would get sent off for Brazil after a very dangerous high tackle that hit a Chilean player in the head. The game would end 1-0 for Brazil as they will move on to play Peru as Chile was unable to find the necessary goal.
Uruguay VS Colombia
Another great match between contenders awaited viewers as Uruguay would take on Colombia to take on the winner of Argentina and Bolivia. Uruguay stalled at the start of the Copa but has grown into the tournament with the partnership of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez starting to fire off. Colombia has also had some issues with their form in the tournament with the majority of those issues stemming from the lack of goals from their strikers.
Colombia started the half the better team but the same issues that have dogged them appeared again as their strikers were unable to find that clinical touch as both Duván Zapata and Luis Muriel failed to put away chances. Uruguay also had good chances and they all came through Cavani as he was able to create good shots and chances for his teammates. The half would ultimately end 0-0 which was fair as the game was pretty even.
Uruguay came close to scoring early in the second half with only David Ospina’s save keeping the shot out. For much of the second half, it was the goalkeepers who were the stars of the show as they pulled out great saves to keep the score a tie. Neither team was able to win so penalties awaited both teams and viewers.
Colombia would make no mistakes with their penalties, putting away their first three while Uruguay would miss their second penalty. This meant that it all came down to the fourth penalty with Colombia scoring theirs, it all came down to Matías Viña but his penalty was saved by Ospina sending Colombia through to the next round.
Argentina VS Ecuador
Finishing up the quarter finals, Argentina would play Ecuador with the winner getting to face Colombia. Argentina has looked incredible across the tournament with the team looking like Messi’s best chance to win the Copa America. Ecuador has surprisingly made it this far after failing to win any game so far as they drew three of their games but only lost one.
From the start, Argentina would control the game with quality shots coming from Messi and the other Argentinian attackers. A few minutes before the half, Argentina would finally get their breakthrough with Rodrigo De Paul finishing a pass from Messi after a mistake by the Ecuador keeper. Going into the half, Argentina would have the deserved lead as they had controlled the match thoroughly.
Argentina would continue their onslaught as they got closer and closer to another goal and they would finally get it through Lautaro Martinez would score after another Messi pass. Ecuador would have Piero Hincapié sent off leaving Messi a free kick that he would beautifully bury. Argentina would win 3-0 as they will play Colombia in the semis.
Feature Image: Getty