Copa America 2011 Results: Should Argentina and Brazil Not Be the Front Runners?
The Copa America is a very exciting tournament, and 2011 appears to be no different. The only odd thing is the top two teams in the tournament are not lighting up the field.
Instead, Brazil has drawn their first game, and Argentina have drawn their first two.
Neither team needs to press the panic button because the talent is obviously there, but should the two teams be considered the front runners after the group stages finish?
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It is not panic mode at all for Brazil. They drew their first game 0-0 against Venezuela.
Brazil is supposed to light up the scoreboard with a couple of goals every game during the group stages, but in the first game, this did not happen.
Is this a reason to knock them as the front-runner in the tournament? Absolutely not.
Brazil will come out in their final two games of the group and score goals and provide fans with exciting football.
Although they did not exactly put on a stellar performance, there were still some positives to look at.
The first positive was the very strong opening minutes of the match. They put the pressure on Venezuela early and stretched the game.
Goals change games, and if one came during this span, the game would have finished very different.
The second positive was the play of youngsters Neymar and Pato. Both players added a lot to the game, but could not really do anything to bust the game open.
In the next game, these are two players expected to do more.
Venezuela locked down the hatches and defended like it would kill their tournament. It likely wouldn’t, but playing for the tie was an OK move for the Venezuelan squad.
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Now, Argentina is in a very different situation from Brazil. Argentina has drawn their first two games of the Copa America.
The first against Bolivia was obviously disappointing, but to have a draw is not going to hurt them terribly. The second draw was a whole different story.
With the draw against Colombia, Argentina is forced to worry a bit about their final game in the group stages.
The second draw put them in a position not only not to win it, but to also maybe not get through.
This is the most disappointing thing because they were looked at as the clear favorites to win their group and a lock to make the finals.
With them being the host country, if they get dumped out of the tournament before the knockout stages, a coaching change will be just the cusp of things that will change.
The future of their roster selections, tactics and support for the time being could possibly also be hanging in the balance.
Will supporters really not be fully behind the national team not permanently but quite possibly for a short time?
Argentina looked like the weaker of the two sides. Colombia at times certainly looked like they could have scored a few times, while Argentina looked flat.
The midfield seemed to be the problem. Their midfield made them look vulnerable at times.
Changes will need to be made in the final game.
They may have to look at putting Lionel Messi outwide and put Javier Pastore behind the Carlos Tevez.
Another thought is to utilize Gonzalo Higuian or Sergio Aguero with Tevez from the beginning.
Time to hit the panic button, no, but time to really think about the lineup and making serious changes, yes.
The final game has become a must win after Argentina was knocked off their pedestal after their second match of the tournament.