The Copa America has come to a close and it had a very déjà vu feel to it as Chile raised the trophy for the second time in as many years. Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 on penalties after the game ended scoreless. This was almost the exact score line from last summer as Chile won 4-1 last time. The game was marred by the referee. Heber Roberto Lopes seemed to want to be center stage in the final and he was. He sent of Marcelo Diaz with two yellow cards within 13 minutes. He then sent of Marcos Rojo in the 43rd minute. The rest of the game was played 10 v 10. It forced both teams to play differently both teams created some chances but Argentina created the most with 18 total shots compared to only 4 for Chile. The game was very tight and it ended 0-0. The penalties started with a shock as Arturo Vidal’s penalty was saved. Messi stepped up with a chance to put Argentina ahead and he sent it over the bar. From then on Chile did not miss another penalty as Castillo, Aranguiz, and Beausejour converted. Mascherano and Aguero made both of theirs for Argentina. Lucas Biglia then stepped up and missed his penalty. This meant that Francisco Silva had the chance to win it and he coolly finished his penalty. Congrats to Chile as they have added their second title to their trophy cabinet.
Here are 5 quick takeaways from the Copa America…
- The end of an era for Argentina. This was one of the best groups of players that have come up from the cities of Argentina and now many of them are retiring. Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano both retired after the game. They have gone to three finals in three years and after 90 minutes; they have been tied in each of them. However they lost all three. Questions will now come out about Leo Messi and whether he is the greatest of all time.
- Chile is ready to take their game to the next level. They were great last summer and have now repeated their triumph on foreign soil. They have the star power now to be a nation that can set its sights on the World Cup so much will be expected of them in 2018.
- Brazil has a big rebuilding process ahead of them. You might have already forgotten but Brazil crashed out of the tournament in the group stage after they really failed to impress. Coutinho did have a hat trick but Brazil seemed to be missing something or maybe someone?
- The United States is getting closer to challenging on the international stage. They did get thoroughly defeated by Argentina in the semifinal but they showed a lot of positives in the tournament. John Anthony Brooks is a solid defender. They were able to be attacking in some games and a strong defensive unit when needed. They were missing some big players for the Argentina game and that might have played a part. The United States showed growth and that should be focused on for the future.
- Mexico is at a crossroads. They were supposed to be the favorites and the first team from outside of South America to win the tournament. They looked very good in the group stage and the quarterfinals but in the semifinal it all fell apart. Chile defeated Mexico 7-0 and the questions began. They are going to be looking at what went wrong and where they go from this defeat. They should not ask Brazil for help.