Archive for June, 2007|Monthly archive page
Venezuela will be partying Saturday night.
On the brink of elimination after the win by Uruguay, the hosts came through and beat an impressive Peru. Two goals – the second one a gem by Arizmendi – sealed a crucial win, with a little help from the ref.
Thirteen is the unlucky number, moreso if you’re Peru. Thats when #18 Pedro Garcia got a red card for throwing an elbow. Up one player Venezuela pressed with a motivated Maldonado trying really hard even if he didn’t find the scoresheet. On the other side was Arango, the star of the Vino-tinto who again was absent. Like the first game, he completely disappeared and went unnoticed so Venezuela had to get its goals from unlikely sources.
Chichero came up for a set piece and nailed in a header for 1-0. While everybody celebrated, Peru’s Guerrero missed an easy score when he was mano-a-mano with the Venezuelan keeper. That quickly quieted the jubilant crowd.
Peru, down a man and missing an easy chance, had another shot when they were clearly fouled in the area but the ref inexplicably chose not to call the penalty. Archundia – the Mexican ref – was right there, so he definitely saw it and there was no doubts about it, yet for whatever conspiracy theory you can come up with. the PK wasn’t called.
Not even an inspired Mariño would be able to bring Peru to score. Venezuela later added to their total with that beautiful goal by their sub Arizmendi and would go home happy.
Maldonado. F, Venezuela.
He didn’t score and actually had a couple of bad shots, but he drove Venezuela forward when nobody else would. The only player that actually seemed to notice Peru were a man down for most of the match.
The Ugly Duckling
Paez. M, Venezuela.
The only reason this spoiled brat is on the field is because daddy is the coach. He whined and complained and got rightfully red carded for his trouble. Thankfully, he will miss the next game.
Grey skies, wet pitch and an ugly game.
Bolivia played well, but their lack of talent on the attack meant their game kept stalling at the midfield.
Uruguay without their star, Recoba, again looked lost and confused. Diego Forlan, Atletico Madrid’s new signing, did not look like he was worth that big transfer fee. He looked more like the Forlan from back at Manchester. Cristian Rodriguez their other highly touted player was also flat. There was no adrenaline in their game, no tempo in their pace. It was slow, bad football.
And so was the goal.
The difference in the game was a goal by Toluca striker Vincente Sanchez, coming off a center from the right, which rebounded off of Forlan. Sanchez wasted no time sticking his leg in there for an ugly, yet very important goal.
Did Uruguay deserve to win? Sure. Carini was incredible in the final minutes, being a mere spectator for 89+. Sanchez played well, and so did Diego Perez. But Uruguay without a doubt is playing the ugliest football of the tournament – which isn’t something to jump on a bandwagon for. Personally, I’d like to see them out as soon as possible since they will probably ruin any upcoming excitement in Round 2.
Copa America football is about up tempo, a high pace, displays of skill and ability. None of which Uruguay are demonstrating, even though on paper their team is rather impressive.
Will this change when Recoba returns? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
Vincente Sanchez. F, Uruguay.
Goal scorer (albeit it an ugly goal), he gave his country 3 extremely important points and put the most effort and class on the day.
The Ugly Duckling
Joselito Vaca. M, Bolivia.
The Blooming midfielder couldn’t orchestrate anything on offense and was subbed out early. It wasn’t a lack of effort, but he was overmatched.
Mas de Nery Castillo.. because we can’t get enough Nery Castillo on the blog…
Animation of Nery’s brilliant goal vs brazil.
More drama for ex-Uruguay player Dario Silva.
Silva who played in several European teams, most recently Sevilla FC in Spain was arrested last night by Spanish police in Sevilla. Charges are unknown. As you may recall, Dario suffered a horrible car crash late last year in which he ended unconscious and had a leg partially amputated.
Good news off the pitch for Diego Forlan.
Coming off a crappy performance against Peru, Forlan has moved to Atletico Madrid from Villarreal. Forlan has improved a lot in Villarreal after a couple of mediocre (at best) years with Manchester United. Atl Madrid is rumored to pay 21million euro ($28million) for the transfer. A good deal for Villareal since they bought him from ManU for only $3.8million only several years ago.
Atletico coach Javier Aguirre (Mexico’s old coach) should be happy to have Forlan on board in case Fernando Torres leaves to England. Lately Atletico has been adding a lot of South American players in hopes of rivaling the far better Real Madrid. Their strategy hasn’t worked but they are sticking to it. Atletico is home to Maxi Rodriguez, Sergio el Kun Aguero, Leo Franco (all Argentinians), Luis Perea (Colombia) and Cleber and Diego Costa (Brazil). Bianchi was their coach not too long ago, and actually current Argentina coach Coco Basile coached there back in the mid ’90s.
What do you drink when you want to annhilate your opponent 5-0?
Apparently, its Terere, an infusion similar to mate.
The guaranis were chilling at their hotel pool drinking this before their opening matchup. Somebody tell team Colombia to put down the coffee and start sipping some terere.
San Jose Mercury News columnist Ann Killion wrote a good article about USA heading out to face Argentina with a subpar team in a not so friendly environment. She said it would be a moral victory is they avoid getting routed. Was the 4-1 a rout a disaster?
Watching the game, the USA squad impressed in the first half.
No, they didn’t play well, but they held the favorites to a draw for a long time. They collapsed late, when the subs starting rolling in but couldn’t halt the fatigue of the constant travel and winning the CONCACAF tourny.
Not the morale victory by any accounts, but now a long of these young players can say they will never face a tougher opponent in a tougher environment that what they went through this month. Well… assumming you won’t see the US vs Brazil in a World Cup game in Iran that is.
Bolivia can breath easier if reports from Peru confirm that Uruguayan superstar Alvaro “El Chino” Recoba will miss yet another start due pain on his right leg. Uruguay looked horrible without El Chino and its hard to replace a player of that caliber. PSG’s Cristian Rodriguez is expected to take his place in the starting lineup. He was previously replaced in the starting 11 by Estoyanoff, who didn’t impress.
Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Oscar Washington Tabárez throw Recoba in the lineup just before the game or as an early sub. This game is a must win for Uruguay and Bolivia is a strong team in the midfield that can challenge them.
Bolivia vs Uruguay
Venezuela – Peru
Venezuela is a favorite in Las Vegas, even after Peru’s strong showing.
Bolivia is a big underdog against Uruguay. On paper, Uruguay is a much better team, but we saw how well that worked against Peru!
Payoffs to win the Copa America: