Two semifinals remain, one per competition. Each team knows who they’d play in a potential final and each team wants that final. Chile and the USMNT are favorites but after upsets in the quarterfinals, Peru and Jamaica can’t be counted out.
Chile had an easy time taking out Japan and Ecuador before Uruguay snuck by them in the final group stage match but had they won, the quarterfinal match would have been the same as this semifinal, Peru. Instead, Chile had to claw through a 0-0 draw with Colombia and advance via penalties. Sidenote, congrats to Colombia for finishing the tournament with zero goals allowed. Chile’s offense has struggled more and more each match since their four-goal performance against Japan and tonight will prove no different. Peru has been a strong defensive team, except against Brazil, and managed to hold Uruguay’s dynamic offense to zero goals and forced PKs. Peru is going to grind this game out, they are not going to beat Chile by running rampant down the pitch and trying to score with reckless abandonment. They’ll sit back, absorb, and break out. Chile will happily take all the possession they can get and will look to break the cracks in Peru’s wall. Outside of the five goals against Brazil, Peru has yielded one goal in other three matches.
Brazil wasted no time to get a lead on Argentina with a 19th minute goal from Gabriel Jesus. The hosts never looked concerned against their rivals even with Argentina peppering them with 14 shots, though only two were on goal. Brazil awaits the winner in the finals and Argentina will play the loser in the third place match.
In the Gold Cup, the USMNT is facing Jamaica. While the revenge theme was a big promo for Trinidad & Tobago match, don’t think this match is lacking a similar theme. Leading up to the tournament the US failed miserably to break down Jamaica and lost 1-0 in a friendly. The USMNT doesn’t have the same level of aggression they had against T&T to reverse a previous result, but a loss a couple weeks ago will still sting. The USMNT looked very poor against Curacao and while a few good chances were produced, only one goal was. Curacao was a strong opponent but Jamaica, should, be stronger. Jamaica, like they did in the friendly, will yield possession and look to catch the US napping on the counter. Curacao did that and it worked for multiple good chances, expect Jamaica to try and exploit the same thing.
Mexico needed extra time to advance by Haiti but they managed to pull it off and narrowly escaped the upset. Haiti meanwhile had won all four of their matches going into the game, including winning three of them after going down at least a goal. Haiti looked like they could win it, or come back and tie, in extra time but their best shot went off the woodwork and that effectively ended the match. Mexico is awaiting the winner of USMNT-Jamaica. There is no third place match in the Gold Cup.
What to Watch?
- Chile’s attack. Alexis Sanchez has had a great tournament but against Uruguay and Colombia the attack was held to nothing. At that, it has been 219 minutes since the last Chilean goal. Sanchez needs to not just continue his form, but he needs to find the back of the net again, if Chile wants to advance.
- A Peruvian goal. Peru took three shots against Uruguay and zero on target. Against Brazil, they were shutout with only two shots on goal and eight overall. The attack is finding very little when they sit back and allow the other team to possess, they expecting to grind out a 1-0 win. So can they find one? The attack looked better as subs entered for Peru against Uruguay, including Raul Ruidiaz.
- Who from the USMNT steps up in attack in front of goal? Christian Pulisic has looked good. Paul Arriola has combined well with Pulisic. Tyler Boyd has looked great, at times, and then disappears. The USMNT is not scoring in first halves, with only three of their 12 goals in the first half. After the competition stepped up from T&T and Guyana, the USMNT has only two goals. The creation is there in midfield, but the end products are nowhere to be found. So who gets in front of goal and finds the back of the net? Will the USMNT need Morris or Altidore to sub on and do it?
- Can Jamaica do it again? They upset Costa Rica. They beat the USMNT in a defense-first friendly. They scored against the run of play in the friendly but that is all they need. Against Panama they sat back, yielding 61% of the possession to Panama, and won on a penalty. Can they find the single goal and can Andre Blake keep the USMNT out of the goal?
- FYI - Because of Copa America’s third-place match, Raul Ruidiaz will not return any sooner in reality (playing his final match Saturday instead of Sunday) and will still miss the same amount of Sounders games, so if you want a rooting interest then root for Peru.
How to Watch?
Chile v. Peru
Round: Semifinals (Copa America)
Location: Arena do Grêmio, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Date and time: July 3, 2019, 5:30 p.m. PT
TV: Telemundo (Spanish)
Streaming: ESPN+ (affiliate link), Telemundo, FuboTV (affiliate link)
USA v. Jamaica
Round: Semifinals (Gold Cup)
Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Date and time: July 3, 2019, 6:30 p.m. PT
TV: FS1 (English), Univision (Spanish)
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, Univision, FuboTV (affiliate link)