Monday, 9 July 2007

Copa America Quarter Finals Day 2

Mexico and Argentina both comfortably despatched their quarter final opponents last night, to setup an intriguing semi-final clash for Wednesday.

Mexico opened the evening's action with a 6-0 demolition of Paraguay. The writing was on the wall for the Paraguayans within five minutes of the kickoff, after Mexico striker Nero Castillo was upended in the penalty area by Aldo Bobadilla, resulting in a red card for the Paraguay keeper. Castillo converted the resulting spot kick to begin the rout.

Further goals from Gerrardo Torrado and a second for Castillo made it 3-0 at half time. The Mexicans did not let up in the second half, with Fernando Arce, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Omar Bravo adding a further three goals to compound Paraguay's misery.

Argentina took longer to get into gear in the second quarter final of the night. Peru defended well throughout the first half, holding the Argentines to a goalless draw at the interval. Argentina manager Alfio Basile responded by substituting the largely ineffective Diego Milito, replacing him with Carlos Tevez for the second half.

Argentine, and more specifically Juan Riquelme, sprung to life with the introduction of Tevez, scoring four goals in a second half of absolutely sublime football. Riquelme opened the scoring with a left foot strike from the edge of the area, before providing an equisite pass for Lionel Messi to make it two. Javier Mascherano followed up a saved Messi effort for the third, before Tevez laid on a fourth for Riquelme to calmly slot home and clinch a semi-final place for the tournament favourites.

The semi-finals start on Tuesday with Brazil versus Uruguay, with the Argentina-Mexico semi following the next day. If they are anything like as exciting as the quarter finals then we are in for an absolute treat.

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