The Copa America is a quadrennial men’s football tournament played by teams from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) with the winner being crowned as the South American continent champion. Since the 90’s however, teams from Asia and North America have been invited to join the competition.
Since 1993, a total of 12 teams compete in the Copa America. 10 of these are the CONMEBOL teams while the remaining two are from other confederations. Eight of the 10 CONMEBOL teams have won the tournament at least once in the 45 editions of the Copa America.
Uruguay is the winningest team in tournament history with 15 championships won. Current champions Chile have won the title twice. Only Ecuador and Venezuela have yet to win the crown. Argentina hosted the first ever Copa America in 1916 and they hold the distinction of having hosted the tournament a record 9 times. The United States in the only non-CONMEBOL country to host the event in 2016.
The 2019 Copa America is the 46th edition of the world’s oldest international continental football competition. Chile was originally slated to host this year’s Copa America, after Brazil who was supposed to be the 2015 hosts. But because of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, the football federations of both countries agreed to swap hosting duties and this was approved by the CONMEBOL in 2012.
This year’s Copa America will be the last edition to be held on an odd year and with 12 teams. Beginning in 2020, the Copa America will be played in the same year as similar tournaments like the UEFA European Championship. Also, the tournament will have 16 teams as participants beginning next year.
Groupings and Schedule
There will be five city venues for this year’s Copa America, as announced by the hosts last year. These are Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Porto Alegre. The opening match of the 2019 Copa America will be held at the Estádio do Morumbi in São Paulo while the semi-finals will be played at the Arena do Grêmio in Porto Alegre and Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte. The Final will be contested at the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.
After the draw held last January 24, 2019, here are the groupings for the 2019 Copa America
|GROUP A||GROUP B||GROUP C|
The winners and runners-up from each group plus the two best third placers will move on to the quarterfinals. Below is the schedule for the quarterfinals and semifinals:
|Date||Team A||Team B||Venue|
|June 27, 2019||Winner Group A||3rd Group B/C||Porto Alegre|
|June 28, 2019||Runner-Up Group A||Runner-Up Group B||Rio de Janeiro|
|June 28, 2019||Winner Group B||Runner-Up Group C||Sao Paulo|
|June 29, 2019||Winner Group C||3rd Group A/B||Salvador|
|Date||Team A||Team B||Venue|
|July 2, 2019||Winner in Porto Alegre||Winner in Rio de Janeiro||Belo Horizonte|
|July 3, 2019||Winner in Sao Paulo||Winner in Salvador||Porto Alegre|
The two winning semi-finalists will play for the 2019 Copa America championship on July 7, 2019, at the Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, the losing semi-finalists will dispute third place on the day before the finals, July 6, 2019, at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
In 2016, Chile defeated Argentina in extra period. The Chileans won the penalty with the score of 4-2 to become the fourth country to win at least two consecutive Copa America title. On the other hand, Argentina lost in their third consecutive trip to the finals. This year, Chile is just 4th in the odds board to win a third straight Copa America. But as we’ve seen through two playing dates, the champs are still in the hunt to win it all again.
Here are the odds to win the 2019 Copa America. Odds were taken from MyBookie.ag as of 5/24/19:
Who are the Favorites?
Being hosts and soccer betting favorites, there is pressure on the home team to deliver but the Samba Boys have delivered at home before. Brazil was destroyed by Germany, 1-7 in the 2014 World Cup but the Brazilians rebounded by winning an Olympic gold medal in 2016 at their home soil. Brazil was eliminated in the quarterfinals in last year’s World Cup, will they rebound again this time around? This is the first time since 1989 that Brazil is hosting the tournament. They won the title that year.
With Neymar out, Brazil is still the favorites to win the tournament. After two games played though, the Samba boys are tied with Peru on top of Group A with 4 points. The Selecao blanked Bolivia 3-0 in their opening match but were held to a scoreless draw by Venezuela in their second outing. They close out their group stage match on Saturday against Peru in a match that should determine who wins Group A.
Argentina has been a disappointment so far as they are winless in two games and with only one point to show thru two playing dates. The La Albiceleste lost to Colombia 0-2 in their opener and were forced to a 1-1 draw by Paraguay in their second match. Lionel Messi salvaged the Paraguay match with a score at the 57’. But Argentina isn’t out of it yet. They end their group stage phase against Qatar who is also winless. A big win over the guest team should put Argentina through, even if through the backdoor.
Uruguay appeared like they were going to cake-walk in the group stages. But after an impressive 4-0 thrashing of Ecuador, they were held to a 2-2 draw against guest Japan who had two goals from Koji Miyoshi. La Celeste currently leads Group C with 4 points but will have to wait for the results of the final playing date to determine their standing in the final 8.
Chile, like Brazil, is playing with all sorts of pressure as they try to win a third consecutive Copa title. The defending champions had a poor World Cup qualification run and are in Group C which is the toughest group in the competition. But Alexis Sanchez has delivered so far, scoring one goal in each of their first two games of the Copa America. Chile and Uruguay are tied for the top spot in Group C with four points each but have the edge with their +5 goal difference. They will play Uruguay in the final playdate to determine who will reign supreme in the tough Group C.
Brazil is still the top betting favorite and when you look at their path to the finals of the Copa America, it’s easier. Regardless of whether they will finish 1 or 2 in Group A, the hosts will face either the Group B runner-up or the third placer from B or C. That means it’s going to be either Paraguay, Argentina, Qatar from Group B or Japan or Ecuador from Group C. The other bracket is tougher because Colombia, Chile, and Uruguay are going to be all there and only one of them makes the finals. Right now, it’s hard to pick who so let’s go to the other side.
Brazil was impressive on opening day but was close to being pedestal in their second match. However, I think there is still plenty of potential in this team and the longer this tournament goes, I think Brazil’s talent is going to show. I think they make the finals at least. And when they get there, they may not be the most cohesive team but I think the home crowd is going to make a difference for them. An easy road to the final and a raucous crowd cheering them on in the championship game. I think it’s high time Brazil wins on the big stage again. Prediction: Brazil