The latest round of the Copa America have taken place over the last few days, with some teams gaining vital results. Here is what has happened in those potentially vital group games in the Copa America:
Chile hammer Japan
In the small hours of Wednesday, Chile opened their group campaign with a 4-0 mauling of invitees Japan.
The South American side took a while to get going and did not take the lead until late in the first period. Midfielder Erik Pulgar rose above everybody to power a header home. Chile doubled their lead on 54 minutes through an effort from nomadic forward Eduardo Vargas, who has now scored at five different tournaments for his national side.
With just eight minutes remaining, Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez produced a superb diving header to end a five-month drought in front of goal for club and country.
The former Arsenal star was also involved in the fourth goal too, as he found Vargas, who produced a sublime chip past the Japanese goalkeeper. The made Vargas Chile’s record goalscorer at Copa America tournaments, as he has now scored 12 times at the tournament. The effort also saw him become his country’s second-highest scorer, behind teammate Sanchez.
Chile have history of winning the Copa in recent years having won the competition in 2015 and 2016, which makes them competition holders. They started the campaigns as one of the favourites to make the knockout stages. This result just underlined that status. They will now be in a battle for top spot with Uruguay, who also opened their campaign with a win.
Peru enhance qualification chances with win over Bolivia
In a group containing hosts Brazil, it was always going to be difficult to make the knockout stages of the competition. However, Peru enhanced their hopes of making the latter stages of the competition by recording a 1-0 win over Bolivia at the Maracana.
Bolivia actually took the lead on 28 minutes, as striker Marcel Martins scored from a penalty kick awarded courtesy of VAR. Peru had more of the ball in the first period and equalised just before the break.
Veteran forward Paolo Guerrero received the ball in the penalty area and proceeded to poke past Bolivian goalkeeper Carlos Lampe. On 55 minutes, Guerrero then turned provider as his high cross was headed home at close-range by fellow veteran Jefferson Farfan.
The Peruvians sealed victory six minutes into stoppage-time, as substitute Edison Flores chipped Bolivian goalkeeper Lampe from the edge of the penalty area.
The means that Peru have four points, the same number as group leaders Brazil. However, the two teams face off against each in the last game of the group.
Brazil see a trio of goals disallowed in a frustrating draw
Copa hosts Brazil suffered major frustration in their second group game in the early hours of Wednesday, as the Selecao produced a goalless draw with Venezuela. The frustration came in the shape of three disallowed goals.
Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho all saw goals ruled out for various offences. Tite’s side just could not find a way past the Venezuelans who mounted a fairly resilient defensive display. Despite the draw, Brazil are still the favourites to win the group and also to win the competition outright.
Could Chile go all the way at this summer’s Copa America?