Colombia: A title contender at Copa America

La Roja's 1-0 quarterfinal win over Uruguay, and so Chile did not fall foul of the Copa America curse. In four of the past five tournaments the hosts have been eliminated at this stage, three times by Uruguay. This time, though, there were no slip ups, and Uruguay was beaten 1-0. We will be most remembered for an act which redefines gamesmanship and skullduggery and two managers at opposite poles each steadfastly clinging to their view of the game.

 

Of the six remaining Copa America teams, nobody is talking about Colombia as a title contender. The team is playing incredibly well defensively, having led all group-stage participants in tackles, interceptions, fewest shots conceded and fewest goals conceded, and has potent attacking talent in young playmakers like Real Madrid star James Rodriguez and experienced scorers such as Sevilla's Carlos Bacca.

 

Remember us, the king is gone, but not forgotten; but neither has he been mourned. That has been more important for Brazil than their professional display against Venezuela in securing a 2-1 win in the craziest of Copa America groups.

 

With all due respect to the Vinotinto, they should not have given any of the Selecao players the creeps. Without their talismanic and most important player of recent memory, the Brazilians managed to get by for how long remains to be seen. Their opponents in the quarterfinals, Paraguay, have acquitted themselves well in a group containing Lionel Messi's Argentina.

 

But considering Brazil's last two competitive Neymar-less games prior to the Copa resulted in two defeats and 10 goals shipped, things could have been much worse.

 

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