Matchday’s in the 2021 Copa America come fast and furious. The second matchday showed this! Eight of the 10 teams squared off and made their cases to move up the standings; the top four teams in each of the two groups move on to the knockout rounds later this month. Let’s take a look at who moved up or down as we continue recapping Matchday 2 of the 2021 Copa America.
Recapping Matchday 2
Matchday two saw Colombia take on Venezuela, Brazil play Peru, Chile square off against Bolivia, and Argentina vs Uruguay. Both Peru and Uruguay made their debuts in the 2021 Copa America on this matchday two, and they both went up against the powerhouses of Conmebol. The matches showcased the frantic pace that these international competitions provide. Let’s take a look at each game to see what all went down.
Colombia stoned by brilliant defensive performance by Venezuela
Colombia and Venezuela came into their second of four matches in the group stage in very different positions. Colombia was coming off of an impressive win over Ecuador, while Venezuela was licking their wounds after falling to Brazil. This match was dominated by Colombia, but Venezuela’s defensive effort and heart made it one that will be remembered.
Colombia had 65% of the possession and recorded 23 shots, eight of which were shots on goal. Venezuela weathered the onslaught throughout the entire 90 minutes. Venezuela keeper Wuilker Faríñez stole the show as he made spectacular saves in moments when his team needed him to be big. He and, Philadelphia Union midfielder Jose “El Brujo” Martinez were the best two players on the pitch. El Brujo was everywhere on the field; putting out fires and starting counterattacks.
In the end, the match ended in a 0-0 draw that is huge for Venezuela but disappointing for Colombia. Both will play their third match on matchday three as they look to keep their safe places in the group standings.
Brazil blank Peru 4-0
Brazil are the best team in Conmebol. In their second match, they faced off against a Peru team who made it to the last Copa America final. This was Peru’s first match of this tournament, but it was not a good time for them.
Inside of the first 15 minutes, Brazil got their opening goal from Alex Sandro. This crushed Peru’s spirits but didn’t put them out of the game entirely. The rest of the first half was even on the scoresheet, but Brazil looked hungry for the next goal. In the second half, Brazil exploded with three goals in the final 22 minutes. Neymar put on a masterclass that truly buried Peru.
The match ended 4-0. A terrible start for Peru will be followed up with a match on matchday three. Brazil will have that matchday as their bye, after a perfect start to the tournament.
Chile outclass Bolivia
Chile and Bolivia both lost on matchday one. They needed to make up for lost time on the second matchday. Chile was able to do just that, while Bolivia was totally outclassed.
Chile lost to their bitter rivals Argentina in matchday one, off of a Messi free-kick no less. They came into this match vs Bolivia mad, and with a point to prove. They controlled possession throughout the game, having the ball 62% of the time. Chile was putting their chances on goal having 11 shots on goal, and limited Bolivia’s chances to just three shots on goal. The difference in the match from Ben Brereton who netted his first-ever goal for Chile.
The match ended 1-0, but it was a masterclass from Chile and a huge disappointment for Bolivia. Chile gets to play their third match on matchday three while Bolivia has their bye.
Argentina and Uruguay renew rivalry; Messi the difference again
We all know that Leo Messi is one of the greatest players to ever play the beautiful game. In the second match of the 2021 Copa America, he and Argentina went up against another rival in Uruguay. This was Uruguay’s first match of this tournament, and they didn’t look bad at all.
This is the nation that is a dark horse to win the 2021 Copa America, as they have a lot of talent. Uruguay actually controlled the bulk of possession in this match but had major problems breaking down Argentina’s defense. The Uruguayan’s had no shots on target against Argentina, and Argentina have Messi, so it was only a matter of time until he produced some brilliance. In the 13th minute, Mezzi found space on the left-wing and whipped a beautiful ball to the back post where Guido Rodríguez was able to head the chance home.
That goal proved to be the main difference. Argentina has six points from two matches, Messi has a goal and an assist leading the way for his team. Uruguay was unlucky, and need to get their attack going moving forward. Both of these teams get another chance to play on matchday three.
Matchday 3 begins tomorrow!
We are now seeing the table take shape! Every nation has played at least one match, and we can see who the true contenders are and who will be lucky to make it out of the group! Matchday three will be very telling, here are the matchups:
- Venezuela vs Ecuador | Sunday, June 20th | 5:00 pm ET
- Colombia vs Peru | Sunday, June 20th | 8:00 pm ET
- Uruguay vs Chile | Sunday, June 21st | 5:00 pm ET
- Argentina vs Paraguay | Sunday, June 21st | 8:00 pm ET
Matchday three takes place Sunday, June 20th, and Monday, June 21st. After those matches, the group stage will be over the halfway mark to completion. At that point, there could be nations securing spots in the knockout rounds and some nations who will need to claw their way out of the bottom to get out of the group. As we transition to matchday three, here’s a look at the standings:
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Mandatory Credit: Copa América via Twitter