Tonight is the night! The Copa America Centenario kicks off with the USA facing Colombia. Tuesday we published our analysis of Copa America Centenario Groups A & B. We went out on a limb and took the US nipping Group A over Colombia in an upset while Brazil and Ecuador come out of Group B. Just what will happen from Groups C & D? Why don’t we just take a look:
Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Jamaica
El Tri comes into the tournament in fine form rolling through early World Cup qualifying and looking good in their warmups. It is a confident group that always thrives in these kinds of tournaments on American soil. Expect much of the same from Mexico again this summer. Uruguay is loaded and are the defending Copa America champions. Luis Suarez is nursing a hamstring issue that could cause problems. Venezuela has talent but have not been in good form lately. Jamaica is a total wildcard. You just never know what to expect from them. You could get a team who leaves you shrugging your shoulders or you could end up with the Jamaica that made the run to last year’s Gold Cup Final. Which will it be?
Sunday June 5: Mexico v Uruguay
The two big boys meet in the opener and what a match this should be! Expect a wide open match with chances coming at both ends. I think this one ends in a wildly entertaining 1-1 draw.
Sunday June 5 Jamaica v Venezuela
A huge game for these two. A chance to throw their name in the hat to advance. The loser of this one is most likely done after the opening game. A tough call once again and I feel another 1-1 draw as the group ends all square after the opening match day.
Thursday June 9: Uruguay v Venezuela
These two know each other well and that is not a good thing for Venezuela. Luis Suarez and the boys roll. Uruguay wins it 3-1.
Thursday June 9: Mexico v Jamaica
These two teams know each other well also. Jamaica has been able to grab some results off El Tri in past years. Not this time. Mexico is just playing too well at the moment. Mexico 2-0 in fine fashion
Monday June 13: Mexico v Venezuela
Expect a wild pro Mexico crowd down in Houston for this match against a Venezuela squad that is ready to go home. A dominating performance from Mexico will have them surging towards the knockout rounds. Mexico 3-1
Monday June 13: Uruguay v Jamaica
Jamaica will put up a strong fight but they just don’t have the guns or the discipline to stay with the talented South Americans. Uruguay books passage with a 2-1 victory.
Final Standings: Mexico 7, Uruguay 7, Jamaica 1, Venezuela 1 (Mexico wins group on differential)
Argentina, Chile, Panama, Bolivia
This looks to be a two team group, but do not count out Panama. They are more than capable of a shocking result here for sure. Bolivia is the weakest of the South American sides in the tournament, but what a draw we have with Chile and Argentina together. Lionel Messi is carrying a knock and might be a question to make his normal impact. Chile is loaded with Vidal and Sanchez among others. Panama in any other group would be a big threat but I just cant see them surviving this tough draw.
Monday June 6 Argentina v Chile
The big match! Mano e Mano. Messi v Sanchez. Must see TV! It will be interesting to see just how much these two sides go for it in the opening match of the tournament. I think both will be kind of conservative knowing this is a multi-week event, but with the offensive talent on the pitch wonderful things should still happen. Draw 1-1
Monday June 6 Panama v Bolivia
Panama simply must get the three points in this one to have aspirations of pulling a later upset and getting out of this group. They’ll go for it and I think Panama wins in grand fashion. Panama 3-1
Friday June 10 Bolivia v Chile
Chile rolls on as Bolivia rolls over. Just too much talent from Chile as a short-handed Bolivia sides starts thinking about their summer vacation. Chile 2-0
Friday June 10 Argentina v Panama
Oh you know Panama has had this game circled on their calendars since the draw came out. We also know Panama can be a very difficult side when they have a mission. I think Argentina has a let down after the big Chile showdown and suffers and slumps to another draw. 1-1 shocker
Tuesday June 14 Chile v Panama
Both teams come into the match tied atop the group. Panama’s big hopes are dashed as they crash out in heart-breaking fashion. Chile wins a tight one 1-0
Tuesday June 14 Argentina v Bolivia
Argentina must have this one to advance and they go get it in dominating fashion against a Bolivia side that has already been eliminated. No better medicine for Messi and friends heading into the knockouts. Argentina 4-1
Final Standings: Chile 7, Argentina 5, Panama 4, Bolivia 0