Sunday, June 5, 2016

Copa America Centenario Day 2: Ecuador robbed of win over Brazil

Costa Rica 0-0 Paraguay
Here's a match that left a lot to be desired. Neither team was successful in developing a good attacking chance. The best one came in the dying minutes and was a low shot from quite the distance outside the penalty area. Neither team looked effective in any phase of the game. The most action came in stoppage time when Costa Rica's Kendall Waston was sent off for a violent scissor kicking challenge in the midfield. The United States will not complain. Removing Waston from the equation will only open up some holes for the sleepy American attack to exploit on Tuesday.

Haiti 0-1 Peru
Haiti was a possible sleeper team that could have caused some trouble in Group B. They failed to get anything going against lowly Peru in this one though. They ended up losing out on any share of the points thanks to Paolo Guerrero's 61st minute Peruvian winner. Haiti did come close to finding an equalizer at the tail end, but their shooting was off target in awful areas and they failed to tie it up. The Haitians are now behind the eight ball as their schedule only gets tougher from this point on. Matches with Ecuador and Brazil will certainly mean they are more likely to end up without a point than becoming that upset causing team that ruins a favorites plans. 

Brazil 0-0 Ecuador
Brazil was missing some of their stars, but that wasn't making their fancy possession based style any less effective. Ecuador was also very easy on the eye with their counterattacking style that led to just as many first half chances as their opponents. Despite several great looks at goal from both sides, the nets remained empty after 45 minutes. The second half continued the rampant pace of the first, but there were fewer chances. Ecuador would get robbed of what should have been the winning goal in the 66th minute. Antonio Valencia charged down the left flank and appeared to have caught up with the ball before it went out of play. He played a cross towards goal and straight at goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who couldn't handle it and fumbled the ball right into his own net. The assistant referee, though, had called the ball out of play from the far end of the field, therefore nullifying the goal and ending the Ecuador celebration. Brazil would come close near the end of the match, but there was really nothing looking like a goal going forward.

Peru is now on top of Group B thanks to their holding off of Haiti. Brazil and Ecuador remain the favorites though as neither should be overly troubled by their other two opponents.

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