SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Argentina’s long trophy drought, combined with sub-par organization, is further evidence that Brazil’s dominance apart, the gulf between South American and European football is growing.
Hosts Brazil wrapped up their ninth Copa America on Sunday with a solid 3-1 win over Peru at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Way - Title - Goals - Peru - Group
On they way to the title they scored 13 goals –- five of them against Peru in the group stages -– and conceded just one.
Brazil’s superiority and depth of talent was evident throughout with the main surprises being Uruguay’s early exit, Venezuela confirming they are no longer the region’s whipping boys and Peru’s advance to their first final since 1975.
Argentina - Elimination - Brazil - Shenanigans - Side
Argentina’s semi-final elimination by Brazil was less surprising given the off-the-pitch shenanigans that have plagued the side for years.
The Argentines are on their fourth coach in five years with Lionel Scaloni, in his first senior coaching role, still deemed to be a temporary appointment almost a year after taking the post.
Argentina - Copa - America - Run - Scaloni
Argentina have not won the Copa America since 1993 and they rarely looked like ending that poor run, with Scaloni chopping and changing lineups and their top players, notably Lionel Messi, seemingly incapable of reproducing their club form at international level.
More broadly, the low attendances, controversies over refereeing and general lack of buzz about a tournament that coincided with both the Women’s World Cup and the Gold Cup in North America should be of concern.
People - Mexico - Gold - Cup - Encounter
Remarkably, more people attended Mexico’s Gold Cup encounter with Haiti in Phoenix than were at Brazil’s home semi-final against old rivals Argentina.
That match was a classic example of the state of South American football. Moments of individual brilliance by players were quickly forgotten amid bad-tempered clashes and avoidable refereeing controversies.
Argentina - Penalty - Claims - Officials
Argentina were denied two penalty claims and were furious at officials for not even consulting the...
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