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Final Four of Copa

......they’re deserving their places
Published: 
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Ecuador's Miler Bolanos (23) celebrates his goal against Peru with teammate Antonio Valencia, second from left, as Ecuadors' Christian Noboa (6) walks back into position during the second half of a Copa America group C soccer match on June 8, in Glendale, Ariz. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. AP Photo

The Centennial tournament in the Americas has produced some fine performances from the majority of the teams, despite the fact that some could not avoid elimination.

It is the first time fans across the world were focused on two major tournaments, namely the Copa America and European Championship that are ongoing. It has allowed us to compare the quality of teams in these confederations and make assessments daily, but historians will still vouch for the Europeans because their teams are in your living room on a more regular basis.

I have analyzed carefully matches played in both tournaments and I’m impressed with the standard of play by the South, Central Americans and the Caribbean countries.

No! it is not based upon partisanship, as I have also recognized the poor display by the Brazilian team, which many the world over, support blindly as a top team. The same could be said of Germany, Portugal and Russia. 

Brazil was the biggest disappointment, even before they kicked a ball in the competition. The decision to omit names like Thiago, David Luis, Dante, Marcelo, Oscar, Fernando, Fernandinho, Ramires, Adriano and of course Neymer, could only be considered a major mistake.

This decision meant selecting a Brazilian team with a bunch of youngsters such as Gabriel, Augusto, Lucas lima, Marquinho, Miranda and Gil, all with raw talent but short on self-application in a highly competitive activity. Dunga did not grasp the offer given to him for a second time in 10 years to lead Brazil.

However, could anyone avoid witnessing the superb preparation of Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Ecuador, USA, and even Venezuela?

Some teams were knocked out in a flash, because the top four teams in the tournament were playing the best they have played since Germany 2006 world Cup. The performances of Paraguay were drowned by their early exit, but we should role the tapes again to see how the fundamentals of the game were exhibited by them. Speed, skill, strong defensive ploys and intensity.

Those who remember Paraguay’s match against USA will only recall the brilliance of Guzman, the USA keeper, whose extraordinary talent, supported by lady luck, kept USA in the tournament. 

Ecuador was similar and even more difficult to beat because of their well-balanced team. Let’s leave Argentina and Chile alone until after the final. One needs more superlatives to describe their performances and why they are so far ahead in all departments of their orchestration of the game.

The USA needs some mention, as they brought a physical, physiological, mental and tactical capability in the same way that their basketball, American football counterparts do. 

Unfortunately, they have shown an inability to pace themselves, as well as the absence of imaginative midfielders that deprive them of the creativity of astute passing, confuse defenders with blindsided runs and their refusal to employ ball-winning strategies. 

I look forward to the final which I expect to be an excellent display of football and while Argentina may be slightly ahead in their efficiency, Chile will be the best opponent.

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