Copa America Centenario’s semifinals are ready to start
(June 21st, 2016) Argentina, United States, Chile and Colombia have qualified as the tournament’s top four teams, and the finalists will stem from two vibrant matches. Let’s share some highlights of the teams that have reached the semifinals.
SEMIFINAL 1: June 21st, at NRG Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Martino’s men have been the only undefeated team since the start of Copa America Centenario, besides being the tournament’s top scorer, together with Chile (14). With 50 shots, it has ranked third, and it is the team that got fouled the most (64).
In the Copa America’s history, it is the second team with most championships in its record (14), one less than Uruguay, and it has played another 13 finals which they were defeated in. It was precisely in the Cup’s last year Chile 2015 edition that it reached the final, in which host Chile won in a penalty shootout. The last time Argentina won the trophy was in 1993, in Ecuador.
It is the fourth time in history that the host team, led by German Jürgen Klinsmann, takes part in the continental championship. In 1993 it was eliminated in group stage, in 1995 it reached fourth place in Uruguay, and in Venezuela 2007 it was also eliminated in group stage. Altogether, it has played 16 games, with five victories, two ties and nine defeats.
In the Copa America Centenario, in which it is being the host, the United States has won three matches and lost one so far, its first game against Colombia. It has scored seven goals, and its goalkeeper has been scored on only three times.
The Unites States has faced Argentina twice in a Copa America tournament: in 1995 it beat Argentina 3-0, while in 2007 the Argentine team led by Alfio Basile clinched a 4-1 victory. Both were group stage matches.
SEMIFINAL 2: June 22nd, at Soldier Field (Chicago, Illinois)
It is the 38th time that Chile participates in the tournament and it was not until the 2015 edition as hosts that they nailed their first title, in the final against Argentina in a penalty shootout.
In this edition, it is the top scoring team (14, alongside Argentina), and half of those goals were scored in the quarterfinal match against Mexico, in the historic 7-0 victory. Besides, it is the team with the most shots on goal (63) and the one with most passes in the whole Copa America Centenario (2366). Eduardo Vargas is the championship’s top scorer, with 6 goals.
The squad led by Argentine José Néstor Pekerman, like Chile, has also attained the trophy once, in 2001, when they hosted the championship. Before that, their best result had been in 1975 when they finished as runner-ups. In all, it has participated on 21 occasions, playing 110 games, 41 victories, 24 ties and 45 defeats.
Colombians and Chileans clashed on 9 occasions in past tournaments, with 6 victories for the Roja, two ties and only one victory for the Cafeteros; their last encounter was a group stage 2-0 win in 2001. Chile’s most memorable victory was in 1979, with a 7-0 win, to snatch Group A’s top spot.