Copa America 2021 is over, and Argentina is the queen of South America after 28 years, with Messi finally winning his first international title. It was a long journey with 4 group matches and three knock-out matches. But let’s overview how the tournament went. After rejecting the invitation from CONMEBOL, Qatar and Australia forced the competition to be formed of two groups of 5 teams each. Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Uruguay were in Group A. The first round saw Argentina against Chile. Leo Messi scored from an outrageous free-kick, and then Chile equalized with Vargas after the rebound of the missed penalty from Vidal (1-1). It was not the start that Argentina would want, but they immediately got back stronger with three wins in the second, third, and fifth rounds. 1-0 against both Uruguay and Paraguay, with goals from Guido Rodriguez and Alejandro Gomez, respectively. The last game saw Argentina take on the last place of group A, Bolivia. They went running riots, winning 4-1 with Lionel Messi being the Man of the match with two goals. The scoresheet also appeared for the first time in the event ‘El Toro’ Lautaro Martinez and Alejandro Gomez with the second goal in Copa America 2021. Uruguay, another contender for the cup, lost against Argentina 1-0 in round 2, took one point after being behind in a final 1-1 draw vs. Chile with Luis Suárez responding to Edu Vargas. After 1 point in two games, Uruguay managed to win the two other matches 0-2 versus Bolivia with the help of an own goal and Edinson Cavani. The last round saw them against Paraguay, and the result was 1-0 for La Celeste with a penalty goal from Cavani. Chile secured a 1-0 win versus Bolivia after drawing 1-1 against Argentina in the first match, with Brereton being the hero of the three points. Another 1-1 draw against Uruguay closed their group campaign with a 2-0 loss against Paraguay, Samudio, and a penalty from Almiron caused the defeat. Paraguay started the competition with a 3-1 win with Bolivia. A great second-half comeback with Kaku and Romero twice made the penalty converted in goal in the first half from Saavedra useless. Bolivia is the last-placed team in group A with 0 points losing against all their opponents. 3-1 vs. Paraguay, 1-0 vs. Chile, 2-0 vs. Uruguay, and 4-1 vs. Argentina Made Bolivia the worst team of Copa America 2021. The final standing of this group saw Argentina on top with 10 points, Uruguay with 7, Paraguay with 6, Chile 5, and Bolivia 0.
Group B was composted by the home team Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and Ecuador. The first round saw Brazil vs. Venezuela and Colombia vs. Ecuador. Brazil showed they are the number one contenders of this group and the whole competition with a 3-0 win with Marquinhos, Neymar with a penalty, and Gabriel Barbosa on the scoresheet. Los Cafeteros, on the other hand, won 1-0 against Ecuador with the help of Cardona. The second round saw Brazil showing no mercy against Peru, winning 4-0 with Alex Sandro, Neymar, Richarlison, and Ribeiro. Colombia, with a win against Ecuador, a draw against Venezuela, and two losses against Brazil and Peru, ranked 3rd in Group B.
Venezuela vs. Ecuador was the other match of round 3, ending in a spectacular 2-2 draw, with Hernandez equalizing, in the end, to rescue a point for Venezuela and keeping their hopes alive. Brazil showed power and composure against Colombia, coming back from behind to win the game in the 100th minute(90+10) with the goal from Casemiro. Diaz scored a fantastic goal in the first half, then Firmino equalized in the 78th minute. Peru took a precious point against Ecuador, coming back from 2-0 down to equalize in just five minutes (49 and 54 of the second half), with Lapadula and Carrillo responding to the own goal from Tapia and Preciado. After securing the qualification and the first place, Brazil made some of their best players rest and took a 1-1 draw against Ecuador. Militao scored first in the first half, then Mena scored the equalizing goal. Venezuela vs. Peru was a very important match for both of them, seeing that it was played for the qualification to the quarters. A goal from Carrilo at the beginning of the second half made Peru win 1-0 and go through to the next phase, letting Venezuela the last in group B. The final standings for this group saw Brazil in first place with 10 points, Peru 7, Colombia 4, Ecuador 3, and Venezuela 2 points.
The quarters were Argentina vs. Ecuador, Uruguay vs. Colombia, Brazil vs. Chile, and Peru vs. Paraguay. Another show from Argentina where another Messi free-kick goal, De Paul and Martinez, put Argentina in the semis. Brazil managed a 1-0 win against Chile with ten men for more than 40 minutes with Paqueta’s goal and defended the advantage till the end. The two other matches ended in a draw, and penalties decided the semifinalists. Uruguay vs. Colombia ended in a goalless draw, but Colombia got the best out of penalties, winning 4-2, booking a semifinal ticket versus Argentina. Paraguay vs. Peru was one of the most exciting matches of this tournament as they ended in a 3-3 draw with emotions till the last minute. Peru won the shootout 4-3 after 12 penalties. Brazil v Peru and Argentina v Colombia to secure the big final. Another 1-0 for “Selecao” was enough to go to the mighty Maracana and fight for the trophy. Argentina started the semis very well with an early goal from Martinez, but Colombia equalized, and the result didn’t change until the end. In the penalty shootouts, Argentina’s hero was their Goalkeeper Martinez with three fantastic saves for the final result in penalties 3-2. Peru v Colombia was the final for the third place, finished 3-2 in the last minute with Diaz scoring a great goal and giving Colombia the third place of the Copa America. The grand final then was between Argentina and Brazil. In a legendary stadium like Maracana, the classic match saw Argentina win 1-0 with a chip goal from Di Maria in the middle of the first half. That goal seemed to be enough as Argentina managed to defend their goal till the end. The full-time whistle saw all the players hugging Messi, knowing what that trophy means to him. A truly deserved trophy for him after a fantastic career that one of the best of this sport has had. Messi was selected as the player of the tournament along with Neymar, the top assist provider and the top scorer. The best goalkeeper was Martinez from Argentina. Well-deserved after amazing saves from him. For the best goals, we have to say two free-kick goals from Messi against Chile and Ecuador and the amazing overhead goal of Diaz versus Brazil. It has been a fantastic tournament with great moments, and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.