A daily insiders view in to Copa America – intended to keep you ahead of the game. All content and insights are from the Sportify team and can be shared.
- So what happened yesterday?
Panama took care of business, relying on strong defense, goalkeeping and Blas Pérez to counterpunch effectively against a lackluster Bolivian squad. Pérez scored twice and is now just one goal from going level with teammate Luis Tejada as Panama’s all-time leading scorer.
Argentina made up in attacking volume what they lacked in quality – the chances they created were mainly from the left (they missed Messi on the right), and none were outstanding chances, but Ángel Di María slipped one past Claudio Bravo at his near post to open the scoring and a deflected effort from Éver Banega opened the Albiceleste’s unsurmountable two goal lead.
Those that have access to our pre-game insights will know that the Chilean GK – Claudio Bravo – has been weaker with low shots to his right and that trend continued yesterday. The Chile and Barcelona goalkeeper was left helpless on the deflected second Argentina goal and made one smart save down to his right but he disappointingly failed to cover his near post on the opener.
- With one round of games done, let’s take a look at how we are doing on the game predictions:
We were off on two calls – Brazil, without a world class striker up front underperformed relative to our expectation and that’s on us. Jamaica’s Captain, Wes Morgan was a late scratch evidently not match fit after partying too hard celebrating Leicester City’s EPL win – had this been made public sooner, our prediction would have changed. Not a bad start at all.
- As we look at the updated power rankings one round of games in, a CONCACAF v CONMEBOL divide is starting to emerge:
Mexico are the only CONCACAF team in the top half of the table!
When we look at CONCACAF vs. CONMEBOL performance, it’s clear how much Mexico are pulling up CONCACAF as a whole:
- Today is a must-win situation for the US – it’s not a slam dunk but it’s a winnable game, and a loss here would be devastating for the team, for Klinsmann, CONCACAF and US soccer in general. No pressure.