- A new TV channel debuts for Copa America, you are going to want to find FX on your TV dial.
- Like all Copa America Centenario knockout games except for the final, if either match is tied after 90 minutes it will go straight to penalties.
Argentina (FIFA Rank 1) v Venezuela (77)
Argentina are the only team to finish the group stage on a perfect 9 points. And they only used Lionel Messi as a 61' minute sub against Panama and a half time sub against Bolivia. With the knockout round here, expect Messi to get the start. Angel Di Maria was immense in Messi's absence and was the player of the game against Chile in a match it turned out he played under tough personal circumstances having heard news his grandma died shortly before the game. Di Maria was substituted with an abductor strain in the Panama game last Friday and missed Argentina's 3-0 win over Bolivia in Seattle and it is unclear if he will be available.
Venezuela are the upset darlings of the tournament. Having little to no expectations coming into Copa America Centenario while dealing with civil unrest and uncertainty in their home country, they played strong defense and had some fortuitous bounces to beat Jamaica 1-0 in the opener. Then they limited Uruguay to just one shot and knocked them out of the tournament with another 1-0 win. Having already secured advancement and facing Mexico in a sold out NRG Stadium in Houston, it was expected that Venezuela would just be the team Mexico played as they rolled on to first in the group in front of a raucous crowd. Well it turns out Venezuela was not ready to cooporate. They took an early 10' lead and held off Mexico until the 80' equalizer gave Mexico the group win on goal differential. This will be the fourth game of four where Venezuela are the decided underdogs and it has not phased them yet.
The winner of this game goes to Houston to play the USMNT on Tuesday.
Mexico (16) v Chile (5)
Copa America has saved the best quater final matchup for last. Mexico is the de facto home team in the tournament and this match will be no different. Chile was in Santa Clara a week ago Monday when they opened their tournament with a spirited 2-1 loss to Argentina in front a decidedly pro Argentina crowd, they will be familiar being the away team at this venue.
Mexico have been playing some of the best soccer in recent memory since hiring Juan Carlos Osorio, their draw against Venezuela broke a streak of 9 consecutive wins. Overall Mexico are unbeaten in 22 matches. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is playing as well as ever, coming off a very successful season with Bayer Leverkusen finishing fourth in the Bundesliga with 17 goals. Mexico will rely on the home crowd at sold out Levi's Stadium to give them a boost in Santa Clara but if Chile get ahead then it could get very nervous for a team that is carrying a lot of expectations.
The biggest concern for Mexico might be their goalkeeper situation. They have started three different goalkeepers in their three group stage games. While most fans expect Guillermo Ochoa to start, they will have to wait for the lineup announcement.
Chile are the defending champions, Alexis Sánchez partners with Arturo Vidal to play a high pressing style that is very hard to deal with. Chile will look to turn over Mexico and counter quickly. Chile are growing into the tournament doubling their goal scoring output every game. Starting with one against Argentina, two against Bolivia and four against Panama, thus math tells us that they will score eight against Mexico and a historic 16 against Colombia.
The winner of this game goes to Chicago to play Colombia on Wednesday.
How to Watch:
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