Sunday, July 15, 2007


Brazil Crushes Argentina in final of Copa America
Dunga´s team humiliates traditional rivals BY 3-0

On July 15, thanks to its impressive form in the previous matches, Argentina was the clear favorite to win the final of the 2007 Copa America. Its rival was Brazil that had been much criticized by the local press after losing the first match against Mexico and only managing to draw with Ecuador in the second. The match was played at the Pachencho Romero Stadium in Maracaibo, and apart from bringing together the two most powerful squads in the continent was also the chance to see who would win the personal duel between Lionel Messi and Robinho. Messi plays for Barcelona in the Spanish first division, while Robinho plays for its arch-rival Real Madrid, that recently became champions of the 2006-2007 season. Robinho arrived at the match as the leading goalscorer of Copa America with six goals, but it had been Messi that had become a crowd favorite with his skilful play, including a fantastic goal against Mexico in the semifinal.
However Brazil struck the first blow after only three minutes of play as Julio Baptista scored a spectacular long range goal from nearly thirty meters. Only four minutes later Juan Roman Riquelme nearly equalized after a great combination of passes but his hard shot hit the crossbar of Doni´s goal. It seemed that after this missed opportunity the Argentinean players sensed that it would not be their afternoon, and they would be further demoralized in the 40th minute as captain Roberto Ayala scored an own goal while trying to intercept a cross by a Daniel Alves of Brazil.
Brazil continued playing its effective football during the rest of the first half and Argentina's attempts to score were constantly blocked.
It would be Alves gain that would give the knockout punch for Brazil in the 68th minute as he finished off a well-created counterattack with a precise low shot. From then on Argentina became completely demoralized and gave up trying to equalize.
After this victory, Brazil has won the Copa America on eight occasions, while Mexico obtained the third place after defeating Uruguay by 3-1 on July 14. The general opinion is that this year's edition of Copa America has been a success due to the impressive new stadiums built specially for the occasion by the Venezuelan government and the many goals scored during the competition (86).

Starting Libneups
Brasil: Doni; Maicon, Alex, Juan , Gilberto; Mineiro, Josué, Elano , Julio Baptista; Wagner Love ,Robinho .
Coach: Dunga.
Argentina: R.Abbondanzieri; J.Zanetti, R.Ayala, G. Milito , G.Heinze; J.Mascherano, Cambiasso ,J.Verón.J.R. Riquelme; Messi y Tevez.
Coach: Alfio Basile.
Referee: Carlos Amarilla (Paraguay).

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