The 2019 Copa America quarterfinals began with a thrilling match between Brazil and Paraguay in Porto Alegre that went all the way to penalties after the visitors survived a 40-minute stretch in the second half with 10 men, and they were left heartbroken as the Seleção finally won after three straight PK decisions against the same team at the same stage.
But the victory cannot paper over the cracks: Brazil just don’t look good. The Peru game was the only bright spot in what has been a very mediocre tournament by the most talented team in the continent. They once again looked slow and poor in possession, and only after Balbuena’s red card did they find spaces and created chances.
Tite continues to do a terrible job of coaching this team, and he’s extremely lucky that the potential semifinal opponents are a Venezuela team without any real talent despite their tactical prowess and the mess that is Argentina. Yes, despite a very bad Copa América, Brazil might go to the Final and win the whole thing. And they just don’t deserve it.
The two potential opponents for Brazil clash at the Maracanã, and this is obviously the game Barcelona fans care the most about since it features Lionel Messi, who has a real shot at setting up an incredible Superclásico semifinal if he’s able to lead the Albiceleste to a win.
Argentina’s victory over Qatar in the final group stage game was somewhat of a positive sign, but they’re still not a good team and can only beat a sound Venezuela side if the attacking talent delivers. But if they do, we are going to have an unbelievable game next Tuesday.
Some of Messi’s best performances in an Argentina shirt have come against Brazil and there is no doubt the captain will relish the chance to beat the Vinotinto to have another game against his biggest rival. Friday will be fun, and please let us have Brazil vs Argentina next. Please.
The best matchup in the quarterfinals takes place at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo, and the stadium’s amazing pitch will facilitate what should be an amazing 90 minutes between Colombia and Chile. These have been the most consistent teams in the tournament so far, and both have shown they can play different styles, with different formations and different players and remain really organized and solid in all phases.
Colombia are favorites thanks to James Rodríguez and Duván Zapata who have been exceptional so far, and the Yerry Mina-Davinson Sánchez duo at the back has been almost impossible to get through. But Chile have Alexis Sánchez and Eduardo Vargas who would be Ballon D’Or candidates if they only played for La Roja, and Arturo Vidal will be 100% fit to start and fight against everybody to try and take his team to the semis.
This is going to be fun. Really fun.
Day 12 Results
Brazil 0-0 Paraguay (4-3 on penalties)
Day 13 Schedule
Quarterfinal 2: Venezuela vs Argentina (9pm CET)
Quarterfinal 3: Colombia vs Chile (1am CET, Saturday)