The 2021 Copa America reached the quarterfinals stage, and over the past two days, the action was everywhere. Drawn-out tactical matches, penalty shootouts, and class players playing their best were all on display. Let’s take a look back as we continue Recapping the Quarterfinals of the 2021 Copa America.
Recapping the Quarterfinals
The Quarter-Final matches in Copa America 2021 went pretty much as expected. All the teams that should have advanced did. There was the toss-up match between Uruguay and Columbia however which saw the Columbians prevail. All the matches had some excitement, but some of the games that were thought to be lesser in terms of allure provided us with some of the most exciting thrills.
Peru and Paraguay go to penalties
What was seen going into the game as the weakest of the four matchups, this affair turned into a can’t miss spectacle. It had goals, it had cards, and it had a penalty shootout; what more could you really ask for in a game of soccer. Paraguay took the lead in the 11th minute, off of a corner. Not 10 minutes later though did Peru equalize. Great wing play led to a low cross into the six where an eager Lapadula was waiting to direct it into the net. Lapadula doubled his and Peru’s tally in the 40th as well off of a great ball and questionable goalkeeping, but a tidy finish nonetheless.
Five minutes later Paraguay captain Gustavo Gomez picked up a red card for what to me seemed like a forearm to the chest (yellow) and then subsequent arguing (2nd yellow). However, it is listed as a straight red so who really knows. Nine minutes into the second half Paraguay equalized, and this would last for the majority of the second half. We had now reached the 80th minute, and within the next 10 minutes, the game really picks up (as if it wasn’t crazy already).
Peru scored again in the 80th and then had their talisman Andre Carillo sent off with his second yellow of the match. Shortly after, in the 90th minute, Gabriel Avalos leveled the match once again taking us into PKs. The shootout ended 4-3 with two Paraguayans sailing their spot-kicks over the bar and one of their takes being saved. Peru also had two saved but ended up moving on to the semifinal which will be played July, 5th at 7:00 pm EST.
Brazil beat Chile in a close encounter
A clash of South American giants led to a fairly anticlimactic encounter, as we keep recapping the quarterfinals. Chances in this match were hard to come by. But one in the 46th minute that had a bit of magic and a bit of blunder led to the only score of the game. Lucas Paqueta played a cute little combo with Neymar and after a defender failed attempt to clear the ball, the Brazilian slotted it home.
Two minutes later Gabriel Jesus got a straight red card for karate kicking a Chilean player in the face. This was both disgusting and stupid on Jesus’ part. It was completely unnecessary, and as much as I dislike Jesus as a player, this will hurt Brazil in the next round. The first semifinal match will be between Brazil and Peru on Monday night at 7:00 pm EST.
Uruguay denied by Columbia in penalty shootout
This match was rather uneventful but based on good chances throughout the match the winner was the team that deserved to advance. Colombia had the better part of play despite the stats saying this game was rather even. The chances Columbia had were more clear-cut than those of Uruguay. Unfortunately, neither team could find the back of the net.
This took us to penalty kicks where David Ospina was the hero. He saved two PKs out of four while the Columbian kick takers were a perfect 4/4 from the spot. Columbia moves on to take their shot at Messi and Argentina on July 6th at 9:00 pm EST.
Argentina make things “Messi” for Ecuador
As we continue recapping the quarterfinals, Argentina was shaky at times but closed the game out late to advance off the back of a 3-0 win. Messi did what Messi does time and time again. The little magician did miss a clear-cut chance early on in the match, but made up for it and then some with 2 assists and a goal of his own. Argentina struck first in the 40th minute after a collision between the Ecuadorian keeper and an Argentinian player when Messi played the loose ball in a narrow window to De Paul for his first international goal. 44 minutes later Messi would get his second assist after a poor touch by an Ecuadorian defender and a great work rate from Di Maria to pounce on the opportunity.
Again Messi picked up a loose ball and led Lautaro Martinez through on goal where he made no mistake and put the ball in the roof of the net. Argentina’s final goal came again from some great Di Maria work rate that led to a free-kick right outside the box and a red card for Piero Hincapie. Messi worked his magic one more time and smashed the ball towards the keeper side of the net and into the right side netting. Ecuador had their chances but never could find their finishing boots which led to Argentina advancing to the Semifinal to face Columbia.
Next up the Semifinals
The semifinals are now set! Over the next two days, we’ll get to see the final four duke it out for supremacy! Here’s a look at the matchups, the dates and times, and where you can catch the action.
- Brazil vs Peru | Monday, July 5 @ 7:00 pm EST| FS1
- Argentina vs Colombia | Monday, July 6 @ 9:00 pm EST | FS1
We are in the endgame now! Don’t miss any of the action, and be sure to check out our previews and recaps of the matches as we keep moving to see who will lift the 2021 Copa America!
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Mandatory Credit: Copa America via Twitter