Teamwork makes the dream work

Copa América quarters have loads of intrigue, even when Lionel Messi cannot take part


Lionel Messi’s leg harm was the one main impediment that fell into Argentina’s path whereas it rolled via group play and into the Copa América quarterfinals.

Larger challenges await the defending champions, they usually’re hoping Messi will likely be there to cleared the path in maybe his ultimate worldwide match.

The 15-time Copa América champion Albiceleste are nonetheless the plain favorites within the Americas’ greatest soccer match when quarterfinal play will get underway, however the different 15-time Copa champs — Uruguay — high the checklist of challengers able to taking them down.

With the host Individuals and Mexico eradicated in group play, the highlight shifts firmly to the South American powerhouses decided to boost the trophy.

(all occasions EDT)

It is unclear whether or not Messi will play within the opening quarterfinal as a result of a leg harm that sidelined him within the group’s most up-to-date match in opposition to Peru. Coach Lionel Scaloni mentioned Messi’s availability will likely be a game-time determination.

“Relying on how he responds, we are going to resolve,” Scaloni mentioned Wednesday earlier than coaching. “There are ramifications when Leo is just not capable of play. We’ll attempt to be sure that he can play. If not, we’ll attempt to discover the perfect resolution for the group. I’ll discuss to him in the present day. It is solely honest that he can take his time and be capable to practice as a lot as he can.”

Argentina has been sturdy even and not using a aim from Messi within the match, profitable all three group stage matches by a mixed 5-0.

Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez has 4 targets in a spectacular effort regardless of coming off the bench twice, whereas Manchester Metropolis’s Julián Álvarez acquired the opposite aim. If Scaloni decides to play each middle forwards collectively, it might be greater than sufficient to make up for Messi — and a nightmare for underdog Ecuador, which earned its sudden quarterfinal spot by holding Mexico scoreless final weekend.

It is a matchup of nice surprises. Venezuela has loved an excellent match thus far, profitable its three matches by a mixed 6-1 with offensive management from Salomón Rondón and Eduard Bello.

Canada acquired out of Copa group play for the primary time regardless of scoring only one whole aim in three video games earlier than dropping Inter Milan’s Tajon Buchanan to a damaged leg in coaching Tuesday. Reaching the semifinals could be an enormous achievement for both of those groups.

The quarters transfer west for a pair of video games held in air-conditioned stadiums amid a continent-wide warmth wave.

Colombia is now unbeaten in 26 consecutive matches after holding Brazil to a draw to win its group. Led by veteran star James Rodríguez, Los Cafeteros will likely be favored to get rid of Panama, which knocked off the host U.S. group to advance from group play.

Sin Metropolis will host simply essentially the most tantalizing matchup of the spherical, that includes a faltering powerhouse in opposition to a group recognized for perennially punching above its weight.

No quarterfinal group appeared as shaky as Brazil, which stumbled into the subsequent spherical with a completely unimpressive effort. Colombia and Costa Rica each held the Seleção to attracts, and fan discontent is roiling.

Even worse, Actual Madrid star Vinícius Júnior is suspended for the quarterfinal after accumulating two yellow playing cards. But Brazil continues to be laden with particular person expertise that is barely touched the sphere on this match, so it’s miles too early to jot down off the five-time World Cup winners.

Uruguay seems to be simply pretty much as good as marketed underneath sensible coach Marcelo Bielsa, profitable thrice by a mixed 9-1 in group play led by Liverpool striker Darwin Núñez.

After beating Brazil and Argentina in current World Cup qualifying matches, La Celeste most likely could be the match favorites if not for Argentina’s equally sturdy type — however Brazil has the pure expertise to finish these goals in a rush.

Reporting by The Related Press.

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