Copa America: Day 5

Mexico in action 

Mexico V Ecuador (KO. 11.20pm)

Mexico will be hoping to cement their place at the top of Group B this evening as they play Ecuador, who lost their first game to an inspired Chilean comeback, in Maturin. Mexico coach, Sanchez, is not expected to make any changes from the side that beat Brazil. The Mexicans think they have a very good chance of winning the entire tournament and Castillo, a goalscorer against Brazil, feels it’s important they don’t rest on their laurels. He described the win against Brazil as “important” but said “we have not clinched the title yet and that’s what is really important”. With Mexico in such bullish form it’s going to be a long night for Ecuador. Ecuadorian captain, Ivan Hurtado, admitted the manner of their defeat to Chile knocked the wind out of their sails and they may have yet to recover. “Our group is very down but we’re working hard to recover. Tactical discipline and concentration will be decisive factors” said Hurtado. The ecuador goalkeeper, Christian Mora, has taken a bit of a slamming in the South American press as he is seen as responsible for Chile’s comeback, gifting them two goals. Coach, Suarez, has decided to keep faith in his shot stopper and he is likely to start again tonight. Mexico are the form team but, following a Gold Cup campaign where they reached the final only a week ago, one must wonder when the fatigue will set in.

Prediction: Mexico 2 – 1 Ecuador

Probable lineups:Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa – Israel Castro, Rafael Márquez, Jonny Magallón, Fausto Pinto – Gerardo Torrado, Fernando Arce, Jaime Correa, Ramón Morales – Nery Castillo and Juan Carlos Cacho. .

Ecuador: Cristian Mora – Ulises de la Cruz, Iván Hurtado, Giovanni Espinoza, Oscar Bagui – Segundo Castillo, Edwin Tenorio, Antonio Valencia, Edison Méndez – Cristian Benítez and Carlos Tenorio. 

Brazil’s Alex looks like an absolute clown… Good player though 

Brazil V Chile (KO. 9.05pm)

The boys from Brazil are back in action this evening against Chile. The Brazilians, who provided the shock of the tournament so far by losing 2-0 to Mexico, will have to deliver a convincing performance to silence those who believe they’re not up to the task without their big names. Striker Fred has returned to Europe after sustaining a broken bone in his foot during a practice match against a local team. This further weakens an already faltering Brazilian squad. Now Brazil have but three strikers for the rest of the tournament, Robinho, Alves and Love. Alves, who scored 4 times at an open training session yesterday could well start tonight after coming on a as a sub against Mexico. Other changes are likely to be Manchester United recruit, Anderson, starting in place of Diego who failed to show much against Mexico. Coach, Dunga, called tonights game “crunch time!” in a press conference on Thursday and he is certainly right. If brazil don’t get three points against Chile, they could easily be looking at an early exit from the Copa America.

Chile, on the other hand, are high in confidence. Three points already means they could play defensively tonight and aim for the draw but that would be a dangerous tactic against Brazil who scored 9 times against them in their previous two meetings. Chilean playmaker, Fernandez, is the only player out of consideration for the match against Brazil after a doctor diagnosed him with muscular overload. Whatever that means. Chile will be a dangerous opponent for Brazil and are in good form. Striker, Humbert Suazo, will be looking to add to his two goals in the competition already (and they were beauties). All in all, tonight’s game promises to be a spectacular showdown as Brazil aim to put the ship back in the water. They will probably just have two much for Chile.

Prediction: Brazil 3 – 1 Chile

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