The Copa America Centenario has delivered pleasant surprises and several disappointments. Not many people had foreseen that the United States would make it through the semifinals or that Venezuela, which was so erratic during the qualifying round to Russia World Cup 2018, would have such a good tournament; but nobody could certainly forecast that the two favorite teams, Brazil and Uruguay, would be taken out in the first round of the event or that Mexico would fall against Chile with a humiliating 7-0; nonetheless, these have not been the only teams with poor results for their fans.
This was the second time in the history of Copa America that Brazil is eliminated in the first stage of the event. The terrible performance brought about the dismissal of coach Dunga, whose position was taken by Tite. Perhaps the Brazilian fans are still upset due to the referee’s blunder that validated Peruvian Raul Ruidiaz’s hand-goal, which put an end to the world five-time champion team’s hopes; but, thinking in a pragmatic way, they could believe that “whatever happens, it’s good”. That chaos took Dunga out of the bench, since he didn’t do much for the team. Let’s recall that Brazil was defeated in the quarterfinals of the Copa America 2015 and the team is not even on the list to play in the Russia World Cup; moreover, under his command, Brazil’s game was far from the traditional style shown by the South American team. Dunga won’t be missed by many people as the couch of the most popular soccer team of the world.
The team that holds the highest number of Copa America titles (15 in all) was also one of the favorites, but, without their main star, Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan players couldn’t do much and were defeated in the first two games.
Suarez suffered an injury in the final of the King’s Cup, while playing with Barcelona team. Head coach Oscar Washington Tabares—a man that has been leading that team for 10 years—waited for him until the last minute, but Suarez didn’t play a sec in the Copa America Centenario. During the decisive game, against Venezuela, the cameras showed a bad-tempered Suarez, who was dying to be on the field. Anyway, the other Uruguayan soccer players, who also play in Europe, were far from their best level.
Paraguay was another disappointing team in the Copa America Centenario. The Albirroja finished fourth in the previous edition of the event, held in Chile, but now they couldn’t eve play in the second stage.
The Paraguayan team drew a level with Costa Rica and was defeated by Colombia and the United States. The performance of both veteran goalkeeper Justo Villar and forward Derlis Gonzalez was very low. Head coach Ramon Diaz resigned due to the wave of critics.
After the World Cup in Brazil, where Costa Rica played in the quarterfinals, many people were expecting them to have better results in this edition of the Copa America Centenario. The absence of the team’s star, Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Keylor Navas, could have had an impact on the outcome, but the Central American team didn’t have problems at the goal.
There were many eyes on the Mexican team during the Copa America Centenario. In the first stage, the team that is (still) coached by Juan Carlos Osorio looked good, especially with the starting win against Uruguay, although, after the tie with Venezuela, the signs showed that there was something wrong with the tricolored team.
Despite the fear after the qualifying stage, the million-long list of fans were hoping that, in quarterfinals against Chile, the team would show its best image; nevertheless, the reality was overwhelming. The Mexican defenders looked like they had decided to take a day off and Uruguayan easily played with them, so the goal “protected” by Memo Ochoa perforated seven times. This has been the Tri’s worst defeat in a long time and the image for the team’s fans was horrible.