Copa America: Day 2


Peru in action in a completely different competition 

You win some, you lose some. Last nights predictions were middle of the road. We got Venezuela and Bolivia, it was a draw (wrong score but come on!) but Peru v Uruguay went spectacularly awry. The fc100 thought it simply had to be a two nil victory for the Uruguayans but instead the Peruvians, with an “inspired” performance from Pizzaro, hammered them three nil. That’s Group A wide open now and swinging like a barn-door in a Kansas breeze. Uruguay will have to come back from that humiliating result while Peru will be buoyed by their performance. Tonight, hopefully, we will get them both right and what a night it promises to be! With Ecuador against Chile and Brazil opening their account against Mexico it is sure to be a red hot night in South America.

Ecuador V Chile (KO. 11.30pm)

 

The Ecuador squad

The two teams expected by many to be left behind in this group. Ecuador have a point to prove in this competition and will be hoping to make a good start. Besides Venezuela the Mexicans and the U.S., these two teams are the only ones not to have won the competition before. Ecuador are without star striker, Augustin Delgado, due to suspension and coach, Luis Suarez, is set to pair Carlos Tenorio with either Felix Borja or Cristian Benitez. This makeshift attack is sure to be tested this evening.

Chile have no injury worries ahead of this evening’s clash and talisman – skipper – midfield maestro, Jorge Valdivo, is expected to play a pivotal role in the Chilean starting line-up. Chile coach, Nelson acosta, has identified tonight’s fixture as a key one if either of these teams holds aspirations of progression considering the two heavyweights in the group. Mark Gonzalez will also be aiming to make an impression on the tournament after a relatively lack-lustre season with Liverpool.

Probable Lineups: Ecuador: Marcelo Elizaga, or Cristian Mora; Ulises de la Cruz, Iván Hurtado, Giovanni Espinoza, Néicer Reasco; Segundo Castillo, Edwin Tenorio, Edison Méndez, Antonio Valencia; Cristian Benítez, Carlos Tenorio.  Chile: Claudio Bravo; Miguel Riffo, Pablo Contreras, Jorge Vargas; Gonzalo Fierro, Arturo Sanhueza, Rodrigo Meléndez, Mark González; Jorge Valdivia, Matías Fernández; Humberto Suazo. 

Prediction: Ecuador 1 – 2 Chile

Brazil V Mexico (KO. 1.45 am)

These are the lads you won’t be seeing! 

Ah the fancy boys. The famously “weakened” Brazil team will be in action tonight against a similarly weakened Mexican side. Just looking at Brazil’s squad, even without Kaka and Ronaldinho, makes you realise that there is nothing weak about it. And Mexico may be in for a long night as they are facing serious problems. Brazil look to begin the defence of their crown with a victory over a fancied Mexican team. The likes of Robinho, Love, Mineiro and Alex will all be out to prove that they are capable of winning in a Brazil shirt without the so called “stars”. Brazil are reporting a fully fit squad and coach, Dunga, will have to decide who makes up the attack alongside Robinho. Suggestions at the moment are that that vacancy will be filled by Vagner Love. There have, however, been issues in training for the Brazilians. It has been reported that there is a distinct lack of communication on the pitch and also, this team is struggling to score! In a training game on Monday which finished in a one all draw the goalscorers were defenders Alves and Alex, both from free kicks. Not one of Brazils illustrious forwards managed to find the back of the net… Also, it is suggested that Alves, one of the most exciting players from Europe this season, will not be making the starting eleven for tonight’s match. If this is the case then shame on you Dunga…

While the Brazilian forwards are finding it difficult to score, Mexico are finding it difficult to get players! Two of Mexico’s most important players; Jared Borgetti and Andres Guardado sustained injuries in Mexico’s defeat to the U.S. in the gold Cup final last week. Also, following the example of the Brazillians, three Mexican players have asked to be overlooked due to “exhaustion”. Midfielder, Pavel Pardo and defenders Ricardo Osorio and Carlos Salcido were all left out by coach, Hugo Sanchez. The exhaustion factor after playing another tournament up until last week will also be telling for the Mexicans, many of whom did not want to play in the Copa America.

Probable lineups:

Brazil: Helton; Maicon; Juan; Alex; Gilberto; Gilberto Silva; Mineiro; Elano; Diego; Robinho; Vagner Love.

Mexico: Sanchez; Castro; Marquez; Castro; Pineda; Morales; Zinha; Lozano; Torado; Arce; Franco.

Prediction: Brazil 1 – 0 Mexico



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