With three games taking place Saturday, we are fully immersed into the summer international soccer schedule and the Copa America Centenario. Group A and B have completed one game each with Group C and D set to play in the next couple days. We look at the happenings that went on in day 2 of the Copa America Centenario.
1) Biggest Winner: United States
The USMNT may have lost last night but they got the best case scenario out of the Costa Rica and Paraguay game as that resulted in a 0-0 draw in Orlando. And Waston got sent off so he cannot play against the US. It may have been a rather dull game but it was a great 90 minutes if you were a USMNT fan.
2) Standout Performer: Paolo Guerrero (Peru)
Nobody really stood out today but since we have to choose somebody, we are going to choose the player who became the all time leading goalscorer in Peru National Team history, Paolo Guerrero, with a diving header goal against Haiti.
3) Biggest Loser: Fox
It’s not Fox’s fault but I’m sure they weren’t thrilled that the game they put on regular broadcast Fox was a 0-0 snoozefest that only perpetuated the stereotypes of soccer haters throughout the country. I bet if given the choice, Fox would have wanted Brazil vs. Ecuador on Saturday afternoon but Costa Rica vs. Paraguay wound up going into their TV window.
4) Best Tweet:
Secretly hoping Neymar drops some "Horrible Bosses" lines to Jamie Foxx in the Rose Bowl suite. #BRAvsECU
— Rob Stone (@RobStoneONFOX) June 5, 2016
5) Biggest Surprise: Haiti
Haiti was in this tournament to simply find a way to score a goal. They knew they probably weren’t going to win any games but a goal in a tournament such as this would have gone a long way for one of the poorest countries in the CONCACAF region. After allowing a goal to Peru in the 61st minute, Haiti had a prime opportunity to score and equalize on the final free kick of the game. But after getting behind the Peru defenders, Kervens Belfort missed the goal and ended the game with Belfort in tears and Haiti losing 1-0. But despite the loss, Haiti had nothing to be ashamed about and played well. In a tournament where every team have a various range of effort, Haiti showed they’re going all out in this tournament and left it all out on the field today.
1461 Trabzonlu Kervens Belfort, 90+4’te bu golü kaçırınca Haiti, Peru’ya 1-0 mağlup olmaktan kurtulamadı. https://t.co/UbfvDg8swn
— Trabzonspor Lovers (@TS_Lovers) June 5, 2016
6) Worst Moment: Kendall Waston’s red card
Yeah, I’m not sure exactly what Kendall Waston was expecting when he committed a foul late in Costa Rica’s draw with Paraguay but it was one of the easier decisions the ref had to make that game. Now, Waston misses Costa Rica’s next game against the United States and could potentially put Costa Rica in a position that could result in them missing the knockout stage.
7) Best Goal: Paolo Guerrero (Peru)
The only goal of the three games played Saturday. Good thing this was a great diving header that could be in the running for goal of the tournament.
Paolo Guerrero opens the scoring for Peru against Haiti with a wonderful diving header. #HAIvPER #MyCopaColors https://t.co/gSMfBB4heA — FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 5, 2016
8) Extra Time:
Ecuador appeared to have been unfortunately cheated out of a goal that would have taken the lead against Brazil. It appeared Miller Bolanos had the goal as Alisson messed up the cross and directed it into his own goal. Unfortunately for Ecuador, the linesman already signaled the ball as going past the endline before Bolanos was able to cross the ball. Replays showed something different and negatively affected Ecuador as they drew 0-0 to Brazil.
Goal? No goal?!? Really? Brazil get bailed out big time by the ref after Alisson flubbs Valencia’s cross! #BRAvECU https://t.co/apfIO3xcw3
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 5, 2016
The attendance as a whole in the three Copa America games today was abysmal. 14,334 watched Costa Rica/Paraguay in Orlando (60,000 seat stadium), 20,190 witnessed Haiti/Peru in Seattle (67,000 seat stadium) and the Rose Bowl fared the best as 53,158 watched Brazil/Ecuador in Pasadena (92,500 seat stadium). But even though the Rose Bowl had more than 50,000 in attendance, you could combine the crowds of all three games at the Rose Bowl and still have about 5,000 empty seats. Whether it’s the price in tickets, the heat, the lack of star power or whatever, this may be the trend for most of the rest of the tournament.
9) Sunday Games:
Group C is on deck Sunday as all four teams and only those four teams play. Jamaica and Venezuela get things started in Chicago at 5 ET on regular Fox while Mexico makes their debut in the Copa America Centenario against Uruguay at 8 ET on FS1.