The Copa America Centenario is in full swing now with all of the second round of group games completed. Here is a full round-up of matchday two.
USA 4-0 Costa Rica
The United States out themselves into Quarterfinal contention by beating Costa Rica 4-0 on Tuesday thanks to a goal and two assists in the first half from Clint Dempsey. The US recorded their first Copa América win since 1995 breaking a seven-game winless streak in the tournament. Dempsey converted an early penalty for his 50th international goal, then set up Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood for clinical finishes in a six-minute spell late in the first half. Los Ticos came out quickly and created the game’s first scoring chance in just the fifth minute when a
mis-hit DeAndre Yedlin clearance fell to Joel Campbell, who whipped a half-volley past the right post. Yedlin then helped create the opening goal by beating his man before floating in a cross, and when defender Cristian Gamboa pushed winger Bobby Wood in the back, referee Roddy Zambrano awarded a penalty. Dempsey coolly placed his shot into the lower right corner. Later in the first half, Dempsey set up both Gyasi Zardes and Jermaine Jones for shots they badly missed before the second goal came in the 37th minute. Jones started the play with a sliding pass to Dempsey in midfield, then finished it with a well-placed low shot from the top of the penalty area. The US made it 3-0 five minutes later when Dempsey fed Wood at the top of the penalty area, and the Hawaiian-born striker turned his man before firing a shot inside the near post. Costa Rica created two good second half chances, but Celso Borges flicked his shot over the bar in the 55th minute, and Bryan Ruiz headed a corner against the left post in the 67th minute. U.S. substitute Graham Zusi wrapped things up in the 87th minute with a steal and a low, left-footed finish.
Colombia 2-1 Paraguay
Colombia can thank captain James Rodriguez and two critical from David Ospina for their 2-1 win over Paraguay which saw them become the first team to book passage into the Copa America Quarterfinals. Rodriguez was Los Cafeteros’ catalyst, his corner to Carlos Bacca in the 12th minute resulted in Colombia’s first goal. He then tuned from creator into goalscorer when he got on the end of quality individual efforts to keep possession by Bacca and Edwin Cardona, both who set up Rodriguez’s goal in the 30th minute. Paraguay had plenty of chances throughout the night, including Dario Lezcano’s free kick that was tipped over the bar by Ospina just before the halftime whistle. La Albirroja finally broke through with Victor Ayala’s long-distance strike in the 71st minute, but could not equalize.Ospina was called into action in the 61st minute leaping off his line to bat away a header. Paraguay played the last 10 minutes of the match with 10 men when midfielder Oscar Romero was sent off after seeing his second yellow card.
Brazil 7-1 Haiti
Philippe Coutinho hit a hat-trick as Brazil coasted to a 7-1 Copa America Group B victory over Haiti in Orlando.Renato Augusto hit a brace for Dunga’s side on Wednesday night, while Gabriel and Lucas Lima also netted for the rampant Brazilians, with Haiti’s solitary reply coming from James Marcelin. The defeat and Ecuador’s 2-2 draw with Peru in Arizona means that Haiti are the first team to be eliminated from this year’s tournament. Romain Genevois was fortunate not to be sent off just two minutes into the contest when he pulled back Coutinho after he had been put through on the goal. Willian sent the resulting free-kick just over the crossbar and then Coutinho forced Johny Placide into a save as Haiti struggled to deal with Brazil’s movement. Casemiro had a shot deflected narrowly wide before inevitably Brazil went ahead in the 14th minute through Coutinho. The Liverpool midfielder picked the ball up on the left and cut inside onto his right foot and sent a superb effort past Placide. It was Coutinho who doubled Brazil’s advantage after 29 minutes with the simplest of tap-ins. Dani Alves found Jonas, who played in an unmarked Coutinho in front of an empty net. Reginald Goreux blasted a rare Haiti effort well wide of Alisson’s goal before Brazil made it three 10 minutes before the interval after a poor throw out from Placide. The Haiti goalkeeper threw the ball straight to Alves, who took one touch before sending a cross into the box for Augusto to head home. Brazil added a fourth after 59 minutes when Elias’ perfect throughball sent Gabriel racing away and he drilled a low effort past Placide into the far corner of the net. Lima was only on the pitch for five minutes before he claimed a fifth goal for Brazil, superbly heading home another Alves cross in the 67th minute. And three minutes later, Haiti capitalised on a rare foray into the Brazil half when Alisson was forced into a save but could only deflect the ball to Marcelin, who lashed home from close range. Placide then made a brilliant save to turn Willian’s shot behind for a corner but not to be deterred Brazil made it six four minutes from time when Augusto latched onto a loose pass in the Haiti defence and finished with aplomb past Placide. Coutinho got his hat-trick with a stunning finish two minutes into stoppage time, rifling home with the last kick of the game.
Ecuador 2-2 Peru
Peru struck twice early, but Ecuador gathered themselves and rallied with two unanswered goals to force a 2-2 draw in the second Group B match for both teams Wednesday in Glendale, Ariziona. Christian Cueva scored in the fifth minute and Edison Flores in the 13th, both assisted by Paolo Guerrero. Guerrero terrorized Ecuador’s defense in the first half. Cueva’s turn with the ball sent defender Gabriel Achilier to the ground and freed the Peru attacker to place the ball past Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez. Peru looked to be in control when Flores scored, but La Tri battled back. Antonio Valencia chipped to Enner Valencia, who chested the ball down and slid the into the net to cut the lead in half in the 39th minute. Ecuador’s momentum carried over into the second half. In the 48th minute, Jefferson Montero completed a combination of passes by tapping the ball back to Miler Bolanos, who finished from close range to lock the score at 2-2. Peru’s Raul Ruidaz had one last shot just before the final whistle, but it went wide. Achilier was given a red card for his second yellow after the play, but one final kick ended the match.
Uruguay 0-1 Venezuela
Salomon Rondon’s 36th minute goal put surprising Venezuela on the cusp of a Copa America Quarterfinal appearance with a 1-0 win over Uruguay on Thursday night in Philadelphia. La Vinotinto has won back-to-back Copa America matches for the first time ever and defeated Uruguay for the first time since 2006. Uruguay, the ninth-ranked team in the world, were eliminated from Copa America Centenario due to the result of the Jamaica-Mexico game later Thursday. Rondon was there to knock in a 59-yard attempt on goal from midfielder Alejandro Guerra, a shot so on-target that it forced Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to tip the ball off the cross bar. The rebound came to Rondon, who bundled the ball past Muslera. Venezuela went close to taking a two-goal lead in the 68th minute when Adalberto Penaranta broke free on a counter attack but Muslera prevented Venezuela extending their advnatage. Uruguay had a few chances to score in the first half, all involving striker Edinson Cavani. He and La Celeste came close but couldn’t convert, and trailed at halftime. Cavani’s open shot went just wide in the 89th minute and Uruguay piled on pressure in the final minutes, but nearly conceded a second goal in doing so. On a last-ditch equalizing attempt, La Celeste summoned Muslera into the penalty area for a corner , but Venezuela cleared and set off on a fast break, which saw Romulo Otero fire his shot towards the empty net missing just inches wide in the game’s dying seconds.
Mexico 2-0 Jamacia
oals from Javier Hernandez and Oribe Peralta helped Mexico to a 2-0 victory over Jamaica and a place in the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals on Thursday whilst also knocking out Uruguay. Javier Hernandez moved to within one goal of leveling Jared Borgetti as Mexico’s all-time highest goal-scorer and El Tri extended its undefeated streak to 21 matches, a record for the team. Jamaica were eliminated from the tournament with the result.Hernandez pulled free from his marker near the penalty spot to head in a Jesus “Tecatito” Corona cross from the left wing in the 18th minute. Peralta then finished first-time nine minutes from time to seal Mexico’s ninth straight win since coach Juan Carlos Osorio took over. Jamaica actually had the better of the chances in the first half and coach Winfried Schafer will have been bitterly disappointed that his team couldn’t take advantage.Clayton Donaldson pulled the ball wide after being put clean through on goal in the seventh, with Garath McCleary seeing his shot from close range blocked by Yasser Corona in the 35th. Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa made a quality save from Michael Hector four minutes later that led to the pro-El Tri crowd standing and chanting the Malaga player’s name.El Tri changed from a 3-4-3 formation to a 4-3-3 after half-time, but continued to let the opposition create good chances, with the Jamaica coaching staff incensed when the referee didn’t give a penalty after Corona appeared to foul Donaldson in the 64th. Jimenez and Corona looked particularly dangerous down the wings and caused Jamaica constant problems, with El Tri having a total of 18 shots compared to Jamaica’s 10.
Chile 2-1 Boliva
Arturo Vidal scored his second goal of the game on a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time and Chile kept alive their hopes of advancing in the Copa America with a 2-1 victory over Bolivia in Group D play on Friday night. Defending Copa America champion Chile ended a three-game losing streak. Bolivia has lost six straight and has allowed at least two goals in each of its last 12 games.Chile finished with 10 shots on goal to just one for Bolivia.Chile were awarded the penalty try after Luis Gutierrez was called for a hand ball. Vidal gave Chile a 1-0 lead in the first minute of the second half when he corralled a Bolivia turnover and executed a give-and-go with Mauricio Pinilla and slid a goal past Carlos Lampe. Bolivia tied it the 61st minute when Jhasmani Campos hooked a stunning left-footed free kick just inside the post from 30 yards out.
Argentina 5-0 Panama
Argentina captain Lionel Messi scored three goals coming off the bench in the second half to see the 14-time Copa America champion through to the next round.Lionel Messi scored a breathtaking second-half hat trick upon his return as Argentina qualified for the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals courtesy of a 5-0 demolition of 10-man Panama in Group D on Friday. Despite being deemed fit to play by coach Gerardo Martino, Messi was named among the substitutes in Chicago, but the captain came off the bench and took the game by storm to seal Argentina’s passage through to the knockout round of the centenary tournament at Soldier Field. Defender Nicolas Otamendi had given Argentina a seventh-minute lead and after Panama’s Anibal Godoy saw red just past the half-hour mark, Messi utilized his team’s numerical advantage within eight minutes of his introduction in the 68th minute. Messi brought the crowd to their feet 10 minutes later with an exquisite free kick and he completed his scoring three minutes from time for his 53rd international goal, moving to within three of the all-time record held by Gabriel Batistuta. Substitute Sergio Aguero scored from close range in the 90th minute as the spirited Panama side was blown away in the second half.
Come back in a few days time for a full roundup of all the groups final games.