Copa America Centenario kicked-off last week and it has delivered some really exciting games and shocking surprises that will be long remembered. Here are some of the top moments we have witnessed in the course of the tournament’s first week.
Clint Dempsey reaching the 50 goals mark
The USMNT had to face a rocky start following their defeat at Colombian hands (or feet, if you will) on the opening game. Despite that, the team rose to the occasion by beating Costa Rica with a 4-0 score at a Soldier Field filled with roaring American fans.
All the four goals were beautiful, but Clint Dempsey’s penalty kick stands out above the others because it was his 50th goal for the U.S. in 126 games. He now stands seven goals shy from Landon Donovan’s all time record.
The first giant falls
Did you bet on Uruguay getting through the Group Stage? we hope you didn’t, because just yesterday they became one of the first teams to be eliminated in the first round. You might be asking yourself how in the world did that happen, and everyone is having a hard time trying to understand that.
It all began with a 3-1 defeat against Mexico, followed by a shocking game with Venezuela where the Charruas failed to recover from a 1-0 deficit. To make things worse, Luis Suarez didn’t even get to play; the medical staff decided it was not worth risking their biggest star, and Suarez wasn’t too happy when he found out he had not been registered to play against Venezuela.
Mexico feeling at home
It’s no secret that there are quite a lot of Mexicans living in the U.S., and they have made sure to make their players feel at home during Copa America. Led by the renowned Pancho Villa’s Army, Mexican fans have filled the University of Phoenix Stadium and the Rose Bowl, supporting their team with no rest.
Their team has delivered, winning both games and securing a place in the quarterfinals. Now they must face the astonishing Venezuela to see who gets the first place in Group C.
Argentina demonstrated their title candidate status by beating current champions Chile on Monday night. The Albiceleste performed very well despite not having Lionel Messi on their line-up, and were led by an inspired Angel Di Maria.
It was Di Maria who opened the score and had one of the most moving moments of Copa America so far: he ran to the bench and was handed a white shirt with a message to celebrate his late grandmother, who passed away during the week.
Colombian party led by James
Colombia owed their fans after under performing in the 2015 Copa America; this year they have recovered some of that joy that the world fell in love with during the last World Cup. James Rodriguez and goalkeeper David Ospina have shinned with lights of their own, being key in their two victories that secured their place in the second round.
James has been living a dream following a disappointing season at Real Madrid and a shoulder injury that almost sidelined him against Paraguay, but any of that has prevented him from scoring two goals and leading his teammates on the field.
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