Saturday, June 20, 2015

Chile cruise to Group A win – Ecuador still hope

At the end of the day, Chile did not leave any questions. Ever since the Vidal accident under influence of alcohol, people were wondering what kind of team from the hosts we would see in the last match against Bolivia. While coach Sampaoli stated early, that Arturo Vidal would remain a key part in the first 11, the incident brought up a lot of disturbance around the team.

The team itself did not seem to be bothered the slightest in the meantime. 5-0 against a poor Bolivian team meant Chile top Group A with 7 points and a whole 10 goals from 3 matches. While the defense did not hold up in the second game (3-3 draw against Mexico), it did again last night. One of the bright spots in all the goalfests is that Chile gets good production from all around the team. Midfielders Vidal (3) and Aranguiz as well as striker Vargas (2) all scored alongside of Alexis Sanchez and Gary Medel.


Chile’s players celebrating a goal in their massive 5-0 win over Bolivia last night.

The opponent in the quarter final is not clear yet. It will be either the third placed team from Group B or C. Possibilities include Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina (B) and every team from C.

Bolivia, despite their 0-5 thumping, follow Chile into the round of the best 8. Previously I would have counted them in for maybe a surprise semi final appearance, but last night’s match speaks another language. We will see how they can deal with that big loss. They will play the runner-up from Group C, so a Neymar-less Brazil is the worst that can happen to them.

Ecuador have hope. The third place team in the Chile-Group waited until the last day to collect their first three points. Whether it will be enough will be determined by the other two groups today and tomorrow. At least one third will need to finish worse than with three points and a goal difference of minus 2. The only possible candidate to do so today would be Uruguay, if they lost at least 0-2 to Paraguay. Not likely? Then Group C has to help, and will need a winner in each of the last games on the last matchday to avoid Ecuador going home.

Mexico are going home. After a promising start which was not rewarded by a win against Bolivia, another good draw against Chile, they could not do well in the final fixture and were eliminated by Ecuador themselves.


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