Day 7 in Copa America sees Venezuela and Mexico advance into quarterfinals

Surprise! I bet you didn’t expect Venezuela to go this far did you? And Mexico certainly look like the team to beat in this tournament. Seven was definitely heaven for Mexico and Venezuela on this seventh day of the Copa America Centenario.

1) Biggest Winner: Venezuela

With Uruguay coming in as the heavy favorites, many thought that Venezuela was not going to be able to handle Uruguay. However, Uruguay was lacking their star player in Luis Suarez who was unable to play for La Celeste. A stunning goal by Venezuela really deflated the Uruguayan squad, and they were never able to recover from that goal.

Although Uruguay was able to get some great chances late in the game, Venezuela played gallantly and defended well and were able to keep Uruguay out of the scoresheet. With that and the Mexico win, Venezuela have qualified for the quarterfinals and will play Mexico to decide who gets the first place of the group. The way Venezuela is playing, you never know, they could sneak away with the group lead come Monday.

2) Standout Performer: Jamaica

Although Jamaica did notch another loss and are eliminated from the Copa America Centenario, they did better than most people expected. Many thought that the Jamaicans were going into the slaughter in a very pro-Mexican crowd in Los Angeles, but the Reggae Boyz played valiantly against El Tri.

Although their defense fell apart in the second half and they could not find that final touch in the opposing third of the pitch, the Jamaicans can be proud of their performance as on some occasions they looked like the better side. In the first half, Mexico had one shot meanwhile Jamaica had five pretty good looks on net. A bit of bad luck and too much skill from the Mexico side prevented the Jamaican squad from getting any joy out of today’s game.

3) Biggest Loser: Uruguay 

What a Copa America to forget for the Uruguayans. La Celeste was ill-fated from the start with having Luis Suarez hurt from the beginning, then having the wrong anthem played in their first game and subsequently losing to Mexico in a big way and their journey has basically ended by getting embarrassed by Venezuela.

Maybe the Uruguayan FA President was right when he said that playing the Copa America in the United States was a mistake. It sure was for them.

4) Best Tweet: 

Venezuela’s own Alejandro Moreno celebrated La Vinotinto‘s victory with… what else? Un poco de vino. A little bit of wine.

5) Biggest Surprise: Venezuela

I mean, come on, right? Who would have predicted that Venezuela (a nation that prefers baseball over football) would beat a team that is ranked 9th in the FIFA Rankings? Also, the fact that this is their second consecutive victory for a team that has never won two games in the Copa America era. Wow.

6) Worst Moment: 

Some controversy as Luis Suarez was suiting up, looking like he was going into the game against Venezuela. Little did he know (did he know?) he was ineligible from the start and could not have gone in whether he wanted to or not. After he realized he was not able to check in, he threw a tantrum on the sideline and took off his bib in disgust. Truly, a terrible moment for the Uruguayan star in case no one told them about his status.

7) Best Goal:

Would have been a fantastic goal had it gone in on the initial shot, but still a good heads-up goal by Salomon Rondon to be aware of his surroundings and get what would be the game-winning goal for Venezuela.

8) Extra Time

Really a surprising moment and it goes to show what soccer is all about, Venezuela has captured the heart and soul of what it is to play as a team and to carry a nation on their shoulders to show them what they are capable of. Perhaps they can go further than anyone else previously thought. La Vinotinto‘s time to shine is now and you can bet that the other nations are taking notice of this outstanding squad.

9) Friday’s Games:

For Friday’s games, we will have a Group D match day as defending champions Chile take on Bolivia at 7 p.m. ET in Foxborough, Massachusetts and Lionel Messi will lead Argentina to maybe advance into the quarterfinals against Panama at 9:30 p.m. ET from Soldier Field in Chicago.

About Josh Espinal

I am a multimedia journalism graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso. Soccer is more than a passion for me, it's basically life. Follow me on twitter at @joshbruv and see me tweet about soccer in almost every language imaginable.