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The Rhythm of the Copa

2 July 2007 12:51

The Brazilian football is notorious for its comparison to the musical 'samba' which epitomizes a unique blend of harmony and rhythm.

However, as the infectious beat of the 'samba' pretended to swamp the Metropolitano de Maturin Stadium last night, hailing Brazil's first victory in the 2007 edition of the Copa America against a previously inspired Chile, one felt that a key element of the typical Brazilian performance was missing. Where is the rhythm?

No flair - no Ronaldinho, no Kaka, no Fred (after the player broke his leg in a 14-0 demolition of a local side Deportivo Anzoategui) and last night no Diego. Robinho, however turned up to the races this time to answer his critics and indeed Brazil's critics with a fine hat-trick. So, still no rhythm yet then, well according to coach and fellow World Cup winning captain Dunga, no worries, "we are on the right path."

Well on the other side of the fence, one team seemingly on the right path is Argentina. After a resounding victory against the U.S.A. coach Alfio Basile has thrown cold water on the 'red-hot' favourites insisting that "it is just one match...," however on the evidence of not only their performance but their squad list, expect comments of just one match to change, possibly to a future champions’ speech.

But let's not get carried away with these two giants of the game, for Mexico is putting in some gritty performances worthy of much praise. After seemingly being outplayed against Brazil and Ecuador, the Mexicans have been brilliant defensively, punishing both their South American counterparts with devastating finishing. Good news for under pressure coach Hugo Sanchez.

Ecuador, perhaps most critics' outsiders for the championship along with Uruguay seem to have forgotten how to defend and as coach Luis Fernando Suarez indicated after a terrible loss to Chile "...we stopped playing." Bolivia, Colombia and Uruguay seem too to be struggling, with Bolivia being consumed apparently with the embroiled dispute with FIFA over their stadium altitude ban.

There is still hope for Uruguay however, who play host Venezuela in the final round after Venezuela picked up only their second ever win in Copa America action against Peru, 2 - 0 in a high-tempered encounter.

And not to be left out, the U.S.A. with a very youthful squad are hopeful of making it through to the next round after a lesson in 'how to keep the ball' by Argentina’s band of superstars. Coach Bob Bradley is said to "...understand that the first round is three games," with hope that they can reap some success and add to their 10 - 1 record since June 22, 2006.

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Info

3 - 0

Chile

W D L L W
Competition
Copa America
Date
1 July 2007
Kick-off
22:05
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
3 - 0

Goals

Robinho (PG) 36'  
1 - 0
Robinho 84'  
2 - 0
Robinho 87'  
3 - 0

Lineups

# Player Bookings
12
4
3
2
6 41'
8
5 47'
7 77'
20
11 36' 64' 84' 87'
9
Coach: Dunga

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
13
19
17
1
10
14
15
16
18
21
# Player Bookings
16 79'
22
13 38'
3
6
7
9
12
14
20
21

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