I think we all kinda knew from day 1 of the Copa America that we’d see Brazil and Argentina duke it out again in the finals. And if you put some dinero on that happening, you’re a winner.
First, let’s talk about the fiasco that was the Brazil/Uruguay penalty kick ending. Does Copa America have a new rule where the goaltender can leave the goal line before the penalty taker touches the ball? It looked a little like the old NASL shootouts…remember those? The MLS tried that in their early years too–thank God they got rid of it.
Uruguay did a nice job to tie the game in the 70th minute when Sebastian Abreu slid across the goal line to tap in a headed cross. But when it came down to tapping in penalties (The Copa apparently thinks playing extra time is a waste of time) the Uruguayans choked, specifically midfielder Pablo Garcia, who’s penalty kick–which would have to put them through to the finals–clanked off the post.
He knew he royally screwed up–so much so that it appeared that he gave himself a wedgie when he turned to face his disappointed teammates. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you watch the highlights below.
Not surprisingly, Brazil made their next try and Uruguay didn’t. Game Samba kings.
Here are the penalty kick highlights–in Vietnamese!!
As for Argentina/Mexico, I went on record the other day and said that this was going to be the game of the tournament. I was wrong. The Argies beat the Mexicans like a candy stuffed pinata 3-0. Mexico actually wasn’t that horrible despite the final score. It’s just that Argentina is THAT good.
The South Americans’ first two goals were absolute classics, especially Lionel Messi’s cheeky chip shot in the 61st minute over Oswaldo Sanchez–pure brilliance. I don’t get the pleasure of seeing him play in Barcelona on a regular basis (sorry, I live in the U.S. and we prefer poker tournaments to world class soccer-besides, that’s what Beckham’s here for) but I’m beginning to understand why they’re calling him “the next Maradona”–and he just turned 20, which is scary.
Watching him run, however, reminds me of Fred Flinstone trying to start his car.
Here are the game highlights:
Final prediction: Argentina 3 Brazil 1.