After 13 days of group stage activity in Brazil, which included a blended sack of value and entertainment, Copa America is at long last ready for the quarterfinal stage and the guarantee of knockout, pull out all the stops or-return home South American drama.
Make no mistake about it: this is when the tournament truly begins.
Prior to the beginning of the competition, in light of how these countries were playing, the accord was that each team had vulnerabilities. Taking a gander at the last eight standing, the notion remains.
This shouldn’t imply that there aren’t groups that look superior to other people, however.
After a moderate begin, Brazil gave moments of true brilliance in its 5-0 demolition of Peru, and Carlos Queiroz’s Colombia awed subsequent to winning the majority of its group matches without yielding an goal. The reality remains, however, that nobody looks strong. The 46th version of Copa America is ready and taking.
Brazil vs Paraguay
Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET; Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre
As recently mentioned, Brazil failed to amaze in its initial two matches, yet against Peru, the excellence of Brazilian flair and offensive inventiveness was in plain view. Simply, Joga Bonito reemerged. The uplifting news for the Seleção is that this squad is presently using the majority of its weapons, as scoring opportunities are originating from all over. Everton Soares, most likely the youthful player of competition up until now, has been awesome on the left wing, as the 23-year-old aggressor has caused destruction, both as a supplier and objective scorer. It will be a stun in the event that he doesn’t move to Europe from Gremio in July. Be that as it may, the man who is genuinely crucial right now is Barcelona’s Arthur, assuming the role of designer in the midfield. Mentor Tite should make sense of who will secure his playmaking midfielder after Casemiro will miss this match because of suspension.
Paraguay, in the mean time, should feel amazingly fortunate it even made it this far as it just increased two points in the group stage. On account of Japan’s draw with Ecuador, however, it figured out how to press through as the subsequent third-place finisher. There’s much grit and assurance with Paraguay, and in Derlis Gonzalez and Miguel Almiron there have been some brilliant assaulting minutes, yet against an in-structure Brazil, it’s hard to see where the goals will originate from.
Venezuela vs Argentina
Friday, 3 p.m. ET; Estadio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
As referenced in our pre-competition power rankings, Venezuela has developed in strength and confidence in the course of the most recent two years, and Rafael Dudamel’s side isn’t just gifted, however it’s protectively trained, having just surrendered one goal in a gathering stage in which it went unbeaten. The 4-5-1 development isn’t just compelling so as to get the best out of the constantly great Salomon Rondon, yet it likewise delivers a strong midfield, ready to contain its rival’s most innovative players.
As for Argentina, the triumph against Qatar was increasingly about getting the job done as opposed to proving doubters wrong as Lionel Scaloni’s side still struggles to provide any kind of fluidity, especially in the midfield. With Lionel Messi, one ought to never underestimate this side, however don’t be astounded if Venezuela disappoints La Albiceleste once again, just like it did in a friendly back in March, when La Vinotinto came out victorious. If Argentina does advance–in the stadium where its 2014 World Cup dream ended in the final–then a tantalizing semifinal showdown vs. rival Brazil could be next.
Colombia vs Chile
Friday, 7 p.m. ET; Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo
Out of any country in the last eight, Reinaldo Rueda’s Chile has been the country that has amazed the most. This was supposed to be the tournament where La Roja, winners of the last two Copa America tournaments, would press the reset button with a transitional squad. Scratch that. It’s been the familiar faces of Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas becoming the dominant focal point in the competition. Rueda, a Colombian, knows too well the stuff to deal with its rival, having managed with the U-20 and senior team somewhere in the range of 2002 and 2006. What’s more, he will likewise know that Colombia hasn’t overlooked its 2-0 misfortune to Chile in the semifinal stage phase of 2016’s Copa America Centenario.
Chile will expect to be physical against its rival, diminish the number of crosses and limited the field, hoping to disturb the wide play. But this strategy is easier said than done, because this Colombian side is extremely dangerous and, most importantly, it’s deep. Only Juan Cuadrado has started all three matches, as Queiroz is a firm believer in creating unity and cohesion amongst every member of the team. However, for all the offensive capability, the Portuguese director has brought something new: organization. At the point when Colombia doesn’t have the ball, it looks sure and guaranteed of its shape, and that could be the distinction as it enters the knockout stage.
Uruguay vs Peru
Saturday, 3 p.m. ET; Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
Subsequent to beating Chile 1-0 Monday and winning its group, Uruguay enters this matchup with well-known certainty. Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Seattle Sounders star Nicolas Lodeiro have been in great structure, scoring a joined five goals in the group stage. There have been, be that as it may, slips of fixation, as its 2-2 result against an extremely youthful Japanese side featured question marks at the back. Uruguay is solid, however it’s not indestructible.
Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez realizes that his team’s most grounded asset, its mindset, is the one trademark that is missing from Peru. The 5-0 loss to Brazil was an ideal case of how Ricardo Gareca’s side breaks down under pressure. If Peru has any chance of winning this game, it has to equal Uruguay’s tenacity and do-or-die approach. Changes to the squad should be made, as Jefferson Farfan left the competition because of knee damage that required prompt treatment. After failing to impress in training and dealing with disciplinary issues, Andre Carrillo has not started for La Blanquirroja so far in the competition, but the winger now has a great chance to prove to his manager that he is the one that can help his team reach the final four.
Hideki Matsuyama absorbed historic golf win while in quarantine in Japan
Hideki Matsuyama is making his first start since winning the Masters a month ago, hoping to regain the form that saw him become the first male Japanese golfer to win a major championship.
There was brief period for Matsuyama to deal with his game as he returned home to Japan following his victory – and afterward needed to isolate for about fourteen days due to the Covid pandemic.
“After you win a tournament and you make some adjustments and you go on, but this time going back to Japan and really not picking up a club much over there, I didn’t get to practice very much at all,” Matsuyama said Tuesday through interpreter Bob Turner at the AT&T Byron Nelson outside of Dallas. “And then coming back here, really one of my goals now is just to try and find my game again and prepare for the PGA Championship next week.”
Matsuyama said he couldn’t see his wife, daughter or parents until after his isolate finished.
During the isolation, he set aside some effort to absorb the victory.
“I was able to probably read every news article and magazine and TV,” Matsuyama said. “And seeing how the Masters win was portrayed in Japan was great — really unforgettable — and that really stands out for my trip to Japan.”
Matsuyama said it was “by far” the most he had ever read about himself.
“A bit embarrassing,” Matsuyama said. “I’m not used to all that attention, but grateful that people took notice.”
Despite the fact that he didn’t watch the whole transmission of the Masters, Matsuyama said he watched features.
“I got nervous again, just like I was playing,” he said. “It was at some points difficult to watch because I was so nervous and all those nervous memories were brought back.”
Matsuyama had a sizable lead on the back nine preceding missing three of the last four openings to hang on and win by 1 shot over Will Zalatoris.
Concerning the green jacket, Matsuyama brought it home to Japan and wore it twice – during a news meeting and again while being respected by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
“Very proud to be able to show it to my parents and family and friends,” Matsuyama said.
Chelsea reaches first Champions League final as goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount secured a 2-0 victory over Real Madrid
Chelsea arrived at their first Champions League last since 2012 as goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount got a 2-0 victory over Real Madrid in their semifinal second leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to win the tie 3-1 on total.
Their away goal in Madrid had given Chelsea a narrow advantage heading into the return, and they missed a host of chances that would have given them a lot more wider margin of victory.
Madrid, who welcomed back captain Sergio Ramos, controlled possession from the opening shot without making an opportunity of note.
Werner ought to have given Chelsea the lead on 18 minutes when he tapped home from Ben Chilwell’s cross yet was offside when he didn’t should be.
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy pulled off a brilliant save to deny Karim Benzema when he figured out how to get a shot off from the edge of the crate.
What’s more, Chelsea were ahead on 28 minutes when Kai Havertz, played in by N’Golo Kante, saw his dinked exertion over Thibaut Courtois bounce back off the bar and Werner was first to the bounce back to head home from short proximity.
Minutes after the fact, Benzema again constrained Mendy into a decent save with a header following some great play by Luka Modric.
Madrid, record champs of the opposition with 13, attempted to set out any further open doors and it was Chelsea who begun the second half more grounded with Havertz again hitting the bar.
Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane gave Eden Hazard a beginning on a re-visitation of his previous club, however the Belgium global looked route shy of match wellness and littly affected the challenge.
Zidane said after the match: “With continuity, Eden has to play, to regain his confidence, playing, little by little. It’s his second start in a row; we have to get Eden back by playing.”
Thomas Tuchel’s side kept on making chances with Mason Mount and Kante blameworthy of awful misses, while Christian Pulisic – who went ahead for Werner on 67 minutes – streaked a decent ball across the container that Havertz neglected to get on the finish of.
However, with five minutes remaining, Pulisic kept his cool when played through and passed a ball to Mount, who crushed the ball home from short proximity.
“We deserved to win. The first half was difficult; they had a lot of possession and made us suffer,” Tuchel said.
“In the second half, we could have scored so much earlier, so much more to be safe, but now is no time for criticism. It is a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team.
“It is not done yet. We want to go all the way; we arrive in Istanbul to win.”
Madrid midfielder Casemiro said his side’s terrible display served to underline what an amazing accomplishment winning the competition three seasons straight is, as they accomplished from 2016 to 2018.
“Today showed that what we did [by winning it before] was historic,” he said. “It isn’t easy to win the Champions League. Every game is difficult. Today showed once again that it isn’t easy to win it.”
The outcome implies Chelsea have become the main club to have both the people’s side arrive at the Champions League last, after Emma Hayes’ side beat Bayern Munich in their elimination round on Sunday to set up a confrontation with Barcelona.
Chelsea’s men’s group will confront Manchester City in Istanbul on May 29 in a second all-English Champions League last in two seasons.
Zidane, who was left protecting his strategies after the match, additionally said: “I think the framework was clear: We played with three at the back and two wing-backs. We’ve played a great deal of games that way. It didn’t end up great – we lost a ton of duels. We needed something, indeed, yet we attempted, and that is football.
“The players who played were OK to play. At the end of the game, we lacked some gas. Vinicius played two games there. I remember against Getafe — he’s a player who can do it.”
Lakers’ LeBron James to miss next 2 games due to ankle pain
LeBron James is required to miss back-to-back games against the LA Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers this week as he rests his injured right ankle, as per they.
Discomfort persisted for James throughout the end of the week when he played two games following a six-week absence. He left Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors and didn’t play in Monday night’s urgent 93-89 victory against the Denver Nuggets.
James is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.8 assists while shooting 51.3% this season for the Lakers, who after Monday’s success sit in fifth spot in the Western Conference with narrow leads over Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers.
Wounds to James and individual All-Star big man Anthony Davis have stalled the Lakers subsequent to winning the 2020 NBA title. James has played in only 43 games this season, with Davis showing up in significantly less (29).
A slide into The Play In-Tournament would place the Lakers in the unprecedented situation of a defending champion being compelled to win one of two games to make the end of the season games (accepting they finish seventh or eighth).
With or without James, the Lakers’ path to the playoffs gets no simpler this week with critical Western Conference games against the Clippers, Blazers, and Suns.
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