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:nervous: Epic Copa Final In Prospect

Argentina swept aside defending champions Colombia to reach their 25th Copa America final, and await the outcome of tonight’s Brazil-Uruguay semi to discover the identity of Sunday’s opponents. Whoever it is, the final promises to be an epic, though not for the faint hearted given the intense rivalry between Argentina and both Brazil and Uruguay.

The Brazilians, whose coach Carlos Parreira Alberto controversially rested the likes of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Roberto Carlos and Gilberto Silva for the Copa, had been underwhelming in the group stage but clicked in the quarter-final, thrashing recent bogey side Mexico 4-0. Inter’s Adriano scored twice and set up further goals for Alex and Ricardo Oliveira in a comprehensive victory.

That result makes them favourites in the semi, but don’t write off Uruguay. Like Argentina, they have won the Copa 14 times. As Brazil’s midfielder Alex said: "Uruguay are not going to allow us to play our open, passing game. They’ll mark hard and clamp us down."

Uruguayan captain Paolo Montero is doubtful with a stomach problem, but coach Jorge Fossati insists his side will not be overawed. "We are getting better, nothing marvellous, but better. Brazil has been playing pretty average until now. To say this is our toughest game would be to show a lack of respect for Mexico and Argentina."

Under Fossati Uruguay have re-emphasised their traditional strength of defensive discipline, and
Brazil’s Adriano has warned his team-mates they must play their own game if they are to make it to the final. "The secret is for us to try to hold up the ball and keep possession. We must not let ourselves play at Uruguay’s pace," he said.

Meanwhile, Argentina are in buoyant mood. Impressive throughout, they were in excellent form against Colombia, with Carlos Tevez, Luis Gonzalez and Juan Pablo Sorin scoring the goals in a 3-0 victory.
:dielaugh: :sleepy: :cap:
 

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It's a potential dream final..hope it turns out to be an entertaining match..Personally, I can't wait. We looked very good against Colombia and on current form I will find it will be hard for anyone to beat us...but in football anything can happen..
 

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And...of course...Argentina is Me Choice ..... :kiss:
 

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Boredom ????? :googly:

As far as Im concerned ... we shouldnt even have this Cup anylonger, as long as the ELIMINATORIES are they way they're now. :tongue:
 

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Brazil, Argentina meet in dream final



By Brian Homewood

LIMA, July 23 (Reuters) - World champions Brazil meet arch-rivals Argentina on Sunday in a perfect finale to a Copa America that has already surpassed expectations.

The clash in Lima's national stadium comes less than two months after Brazil's 3-1 win in their World Cup qualifier in Belo Horizonte, when Ronaldo won and converted a hat-trick of penalties.

The Real Madrid striker will not be present this time. Along with Kaka, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos, he is one of several top players to be rested for the tournament by coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Yet the five-times World Cup winners have still managed to reach the final in an awesome demonstration of their strength-in-depth.

"We've shown the magnitude of Brazilian football," Parreira said. :dielaugh: (what an arrogant idiot, I said that ;) )

Meanwhile, Argentina have almost certainly kept coach Marcelo Bielsa in a job by getting this far.

The introverted coach, who last week admitted he had trouble understanding himself, had not been expected to survive a poor tournament after a spell of lacklustre performances and unremarkable results.

IMPRESSIVE SCORING

Instead, Argentina have scored 14 goals and conceded four on their way to the final. Twenty-year-olds Javier Macherano and Carlos Tevez have both looked outstanding and Bielsa appears to have secured his position.

Brazil have also been unveiling alternatives to the old guard, in particular striker Adriano who is the Copa's top-scorer with six goals in five games including a hat-trick against Costa Rica.

The two giants of South American football have not met in the final since the Copa America was re-invented in the late 1980s and it appears organisers did not intend them to clash this time either.

Along with hosts Peru, the pair were top seeds for the three first round groups and would have met in the semi-finals if everything had gone to plan and they had won their groups.

Peru, meanwhile, would not have run into either of them before the final.

However, all three teams finished as runners-up in their groups, meaning that Argentina faced Peru in the quarter-finals while Brazil fell into the other half of the draw.

Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa has refused to accept his team are favourites despite Brazil's absentees.

"The question of favourites is a game which overloads the responsibilities or a team and lightens the load of the other," he said.

"The obligations which we feel arise from the sentiment of wanting to win."

Parreira said: "Argentina are a team who do everything well. They mark well, they run a lot and they play well when they've got the ball.

"They're a team who can play and stop the opposition from playing."

But he added: "There's no reason for us to be afraid of them."

Brazil: 1-Dida, 13-Maicon, 3-Luisao, 4-Juan, 6-Gustavo Nery; 5-Renato, 8-Kleberson, 10-Alex, 11-Edu; 9-Luis Fabiano, 7-Adriano

Argentina: 1-Roberto Abbondanzieri; 8-Javier Zanetti, 2-Roberto Ayala, 6-Gabriel Heinze, 3-Juan Pablo Sorin; 5-Javier Maschero, 16-Luis Gonzalez, 11-Carlos Tevez; 19-Cesar Delgado, 9-Luciano Figueroa, 18-Cristian Gonzalez

Referee: Carlos Amarilla (Paraguay) :yuck:

 

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Brazil squad penpix



LIMA, July 24 (Reuters) - Penpix of the Brazil squad ahead of the Copa America final against Argentina on Sunday.

Note: Brazil have rested a number of their regular players for the tournament:

Goalkeeper:


1-Julio Cesar (Flamengo). Born: 3.8.79. Caps: 5. Controversially picked as many thought Sao Paulo's Rogerio Ceni was the automatic choice after regulars Dida and Marcos were rested. But made crucial saves in the quarter-final against Mexico and saved a penalty in the semi-final shootout against Uruguay.

Defenders:

13-Maicon (Monaco, France). Born: 26.7.81. Caps: 4. Made his international debut at the Copa after playing for the under-23 team at the Olympic qualifying tournament earlier this year. Played in the Cruzeiro team which won the Brazilian championship last year.

3-Luisao (Benfica, Portugal). Born: 13.2.81. Caps: 9. Ever-present in the centre of the defence, his experience in Peru has been a sharp contrast to the last Copa America three years ago when he made an unhappy international debut in the humiliating quarter-final defeat by Honduras.

4-Juan (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany). Born: 1.2.79. Caps: 17. Another player who made his debut in Brazil's unhappy 2001 Copa America team, he has been in and out of the side since but missed out on the World Cup. Shy off the field, calm on it.

6-Gustavo Nery (Sao Paulo). Born: 22.7.77. Caps: 5. The latest candidate to be the reserve to Roberto Carlos. Good pace, though he does not share the Real Madrid player's explosive shooting. Temperamental.

2-Mancini (AS Roma, Italy). Born: 1.8.80. Caps: 2. Despite excellent performances with AS Roma, he has not yet been able to win a regular place for his country and has been shaded out by Maicon at the tournament.

Midfielders

5-Renato (Sevilla, Spain). Born: 15.5.79. Caps: 9. Defensive midfielder who relies on good anticipation and timing to win the ball rather than brute force. Also likes to attack, though coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has restricted him to a more defensive role than he enjoys in club football. Made his name in the Santos side which won the Brazilian championship two years ago.

8-Kleberson (Manchester United, England). Born: 19.6.79. Caps: 25. The only member of the squad who was in Brazil's victorious 2002 World Cup team. He has struggled at club level since joining Manchester United from Atletico Paranaense and has lost national team place in consequence. Is hoping the Copa America can help him win it back.

10-Alex (Fenerbahce, Turkey). Born: 14.9.77. Caps: 39. A player of rare talent, which is tempered by his tendency to flit in and out of matches. He is often labelled dozy by the Brazilian media. He was in the team which won the 1999 Copa America and the side humiliated by Honduras two years later. Has yet to play at a World Cup. The inspiration in the Cruzeiro team which won the Brazilian championship last year.

11-Edu (Arsenal, England). Born: 16.5.78. Caps: 8. After rumours that he was considering taking up British citizenship, the former Corinthians player was given his international debut in the friendly against Hungary last April. Won a place in the starting line up in last month's World Cup qualifier against Chile and has been ever-present at the Copa America.

18-Julio Baptista (Sevilla, Spain). Born: 1.10.81. Caps: 6. Known as the tank for his powerful runs in midfield, the former Sao Paulo man is good in the tackle and strong going forward.

19-Diego (Santos). Born. 28.2.85. Caps: 6. Outrageously talented midfielder with excellent vision who inspired Santos to their Brazilian championship win two years ago when he was only 17. Has suffered ups and downs since then and was made one of the scapegoats when Brazil's under-23 team failed to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Forwards:

7-Adriano (Inter Milan, Italy). Born: 17.2.82. Caps: 12. Any player who has to fight with Ronaldo for a place in the team needs to impress when he is given a chance and Adriano has done exactly that with six goals in five games. Powerful with a strong left-foot shot but a tendency to be too individualistic.

9-Luis Fabiano (Sao Paulo). Born: 8.11.80. Caps: 11. The temperamental Sao Paulo striker, who picked up four red cards for his club last year, has managed to control his temper this year and has become the first reserve after Ronaldo. Surprisingly, however, he has played second fiddle to Adriano at the Copa, scoring two goals himself.

21-Ricardo Oliveira (Valencia). Born: 6.5.80. Caps: 3. A penalty area specialist who has managed to score one goal so far despite being on the field for only a few minutes in the tournament.
 

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Argentina squad penpix



LIMA, July 24 (Reuters) - Penpix of the Argentina squad ahead of the Copa America final against Brazil on Sunday:

Goalkeeper:

1-Roberto Abbondanzieri (Boca Juniors). Born: 19.8.72. Caps: 6. The latest candidate as coach Marcelo Bielsa continues his search for a top-class goalkeeper, the Duck made his international debut last month at the age of 31. He has not been severely tested in the Copa.

- - - -

Defenders

8-Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan, Italy). Born: 10.8.73. Caps: 87. Experienced player and ever-present in the tournament, he has played in the full-back position during the Copa.

4-Facundo Quiroga (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany). Born: 10.1.78. Caps: 14. Given a run in the team in the last year but has made only two substitute apperances at the Copa. Joined Wolfsburg from Portugal's Sporting Lisbon last month.

6-Gabriel Heinze (Manchester United, England). Born: 19.4.78. Caps: 14. Ever-present on the left hand side of the defence, he has enjoyed an outstanding tournament. Physically strong, good timing and anticipation, good in the air and difficult to get past. Moved to Manchester United from Paris St Germain in the European close season.

3-Juan Pablo Sorin (Paris St Germain, France). Born: 5.5.76. Caps: 47. Has reverted to the left-back position rather than midfield for the tournament. Intelligent player with an extraordinary work rate.

2-Roberto Ayala (Valencia, Spain). Born: 14.4.73. Caps: 90. The team captain has been solid at the heart of the defence. Superb in the air as he proved against Uruguay when he scored arguably the best headed goal of the competition. Marred his tournament by getting sent off in the quarter-final against Peru.

22-Fabricio Coloccini (AC Milan, Italy). Born: 22.1.82. Caps: 7. Replaced Javier Mascherano in midfield against Peru and Ayala in defence in the semi-final against Colombia. Performed well in both areas with good anticipation and passing. Played in the 2001 World Youth Championship winning team.

- - - -

Midfielders

5-Javier Mascherano (River Plate). Born: 8.6.84. Caps: 7. An exceptional tournament playing just in front of the defence and without doubt a great find for coach Bielsa. Shows outstanding composure for a 20-year-old. Good in the tackle, good on the ball and excellent distribution.

10-Andres D'Alessandro (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany). Born: 15.4.81. Caps: 16. Chosen as the midfield playmaker for the Copa, he has good acceleration, is inventive with a powerful left-foot shot. Also possesses an explosive temperament.

11-Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors). Born: 5.2.84. Caps: 7. One of the country's most exciting players, he has burst onto the international scene after being the inspiration for his club during the last two years. Scored free kicks against Peru and Colombia, the first just three minutes after coming on as a substitute. A move to a top European club appears imminent.

16-Luis Gonzalez (River Plate). Born: 19.1.81. Caps: 14. After making his debut against Honduras last year, Gonzalez has won a regular place this year. Has played a more attacking role in the Copa which has appeared to suit his style. Has scored two goals and been ever-present.

18-Cristian Gonzalez (Inter Milan, Italy). Born: 4.8.74. Caps: 50. Left-sided attacking midfielder or forward still desperately trying to make up for the disappointment of the 2002 World Cup, when Argentina were knocked out in the first round. Has a good left-foot shot and is experienced in the art of winding up the opposition.

- - - -

Forwards

7-Javier Saviola (Barcelona, Spain). Born: 11.12.81. Caps: 17. Often overlooked by Bielsa, he was given a start in Argentina's opening game against Ecuador and scored a hat-trick in the 6-1 win. A nagging hamstring injury has spoiled his tournament since.

9-Luciano Figueroa (Cruz Azul, Mexico). Born: 19.5.81. Caps: 5. Has resurrected his career after an unhappy six months with English premier team Birmingham City last year and scored his first two international goals against Uruguay after stepping in for Saviola.

19-Cesar Delgado (Cruz Azul, Mexico). Born: 18.8.81. Caps: 13. A constant torment for opposing defences with his speed and trickery down the right. Played alongside Figueroa at Rosario Central last year, the pair are now back together in Mexico at Cruz Azul.

21-Mauro Rosales (Newell's Old Boys). Born: 24.2.81. Caps: 7. Similar to Delgado, fast and tricky, sometimes over-elaborates. Usually used as a substitute.
 

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Dale ARGENTINA !!!!!!!!!!!!

:D :D :D :D :drunk: :D :D :D :D :thmbup: :thmbup: :thmbup:
 

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This is it: Argentina A vs. Brazil B. If Argentina loses, Bielsa should recieve his long - awaited kick in the butt.

¡¡¡VAAAMOS ARGENTIIINA TODAVÍIIAAA!!!
 

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Latinlover said:
This is it: Argentina A vs. Brazil B. If Argentina loses, Bielsa should recieve his long - awaited kick in the butt.

¡¡¡VAAAMOS ARGENTIIINA TODAVÍIIAAA!!!
Bielsa DIDNT take everyone he WANTED in the Team ... Therefore AFA would forgive him if first place is not attained today .....

Now....He doesnt bring GOLD from Greece...and then its Chau Baby !!!!!! He has the TEAM he wanted for the Olympics ...

But never dispair .....

ARGENTINA will win today !!!!!
 

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And...in the worst scenario for any football event ... The Penalties!!!!!! ... :yuck: The Brazucas take the title by defeating the Argentines after a 2x2 regulation tie.

This Copa America STILL Sucked from day one !!!!!

I hope they get rid of it !!! :cap:
 

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How can you say that? It's the only important NT cup we have with a lot of story and a lot of great matches. I think you think that way only because Chile got eliminated early.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Chinofan said:
How can you say that? It's the only important NT cup we have with a lot of story and a lot of great matches. I think you think that way only because Chile got eliminated early.
Are you new here or are you :googly: :googly: :googly: :googly: ??? 18,000 posts of mine HAVE always said COPA AMERICA SUCKS ...Under the present Eliminatories Copa America is a USELESS, DECAYING Tournament (Just like the Centenario Stadium) ... Read back my posts !!!

Thanks

And Chinofan ... really have a GREAT DAY !!!! :dielaugh:
 

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This cup totally sucked! D'Alessandro and the second one who shoot (I don't remember who) totally threw this away. Now it's time to get something good out of this and fire Bielsa's mongoholic face once and for all.

Yes, this sucked straight from day 1.

See you in the Olympics.
 

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I did enjoy watching the last tango in Lima :D tarara tarare
Will be the end of the road for Bielsa? There's no doubt anymore; that dude is cursed!
 

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I didn't like the final but I liked the tournament. I can't believe you guys think that Copa America sucks. An why wouldn't I have a great day?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanx God there isnt another till 2007 ... With ANY luck Conmebol might scratch it !!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Tucídides said:
I did enjoy watching the last tango in Lima :D tarara tarare
Will be the end of the road for Bielsa? There's no doubt anymore; that dude is cursed!
It wasnt Bielsa who missed the penalties ... hehehehe :drunk: ...He wont get fired...Not yet ....Wait up for the Olympics, which is when it will happen if he doesnt bring the Gold ;)
 
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