The USA booked their place in the Copa America semi finals last night in a fiery 2-1 win over Ecuador which saw both sides end the match with ten men. Talisman Clint Dempsey was on target again as the hosts were the first side to reach the last four in their own tournament. Lifting the trophy will be a difficult task for Jurgen Klinsmann’s men though, with the likes of Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Colombia all vying to join them in the semi finals.
Colombia face Peru in a tight game on Friday night/Saturday morning and you can read our preview of that match here. On Saturday night/Sunday morning we have the last two quarter finals with Argentina facing Venezuela first, followed by a mouth-watering clash between Mexico and Chile. Argentina couldn’t have done much more in the group stage, winning all three games in pool D with an aggregate score of 10-1. Current Copa America holders Chile also came through in that group, but their second place finish means that they face the winners of group C, Mexico. The Mexicans topped that section as Uruguay bowed out, and they’ll be a tough nut to crack for Alexis Sanchez and co. as they try to defend their title.
Argentina v Venezuela
First up, Argentina to win and keep a clean sheet looks a very tempting bet at -102 with BetVictor
Argentina have had the luxury of leaving Lionel Messi on the bench for all three games in the group, although he came on as a second half sub to score a hat trick against Panama in the 5-0 win. Despite resting one of the world’s best players, Argentina have still looked the part and have cruised to this stage conceding just a single goal – and even that was an injury-time consolation for Chile in the 2-1 defeat in the group’s opening game.
There has never been a better opportunity for Messi to achieve international honours with his country – something we’ve pointed out in our tournament tips – and it could be even more special in the centenary year of the Copa America. It’s hard to see them slipping up in this one and for all that it is a great achievement for Venezuela to reach this stage, there is a clear gulf in class between the two sides.
Venezuela showed great determination to register 1-0 wins over Uruguay and Jamaica and finished the group with a creditable 1-1 draw with Mexico. However, those victories were only the second and third wins in the last 17 international games and it would be fair to say they are punching above their weight at this level. They will spend a good deal of this match chasing the ball and defending in numbers, but Argentina should be good enough to break them down at least once.
Messi could well be restored to the starting line up for this one, but with or without him his countrymen have won seven games on the spin, and they’ve also beaten Venezuela in 17 of the last 18 meetings.
Mexico v Chile
Attacking football is in the DNA of both of these two nations, and that has been evident already throughout this competition. Mexico beat Uruguay 3-1 in their first match before recording a 2-0 victory over Jamaica. The final group game saw them draw 1-1 with Venezuela, although qualification was already secured by that point. That stalemate also brought to an end a ten-game winning run for Mexico, and they are in fine fettle right now.
Chile were 2-1 losers to Argentina in their first group match, but they followed up with a 2-1 win over Bolivia and a 4-2 triumph over Panama. Known as one of the most attacking teams on the international stage, Chile adopt a policy of ‘we’ll score one more than you’ at times, and the over 2.5 goals bet has landed in 8 of their last 10 games.
Argentina to beat Venezuela to Nil
Sunday 19th June, 00:00 GMT
Mexico v Chile – Over 2.5 Goals
Sunday 19th June, 03:00 GMT
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