Watch Copa America on StarTimes Favourites struggle at Copa

By Peter Auf der Heyde
On 20 June 2019 at 05:11

When the draw for the 2019 Copa América was made, Brazilian fans were hoping that the Seleção would be comfortably sitting at the top of their table after their opening two matches.

But going into their final Group A match against Peru in São Paulo on Saturday, Tite’s side does not have the six points that had been expected from the team.

After securing a comfortable 3-0 win against Bolivia in the opening match, they managed no better than a goalless draw against Venezuela in their next, prompting fans to jeer the players as they left the field.

Left back Filipe Luis, who has played his part in ensuring that the eight-time champions have yet to concede, has promised that the team will give everything against Peru.

"Obviously it doesn’t help when the fans are against us, chanting ’ole’ for our opponent. In the end, that doesn’t help anybody. We need to keep fighting and keep giving our best to try to change things," the Atlético Madrid star said.

Like the hosts Peru have four points from their two opening matches and are already guaranteed a place in the knock-out stages as they will – at worst – qualify as one of the top two third-placed teams.

In Group B Argentina find themselves in an even more difficult situation as they go into their final match in Porto Alegre on Sunday against the reigning Asian champions Qatar, who are one of two invited teams at the showpiece event of South American football.

A defeat against Colombia in their first match and a draw against Paraguay in their second leaves La Albiceleste bottom of their group and needing a win against Qatar if they want to stay in the race for a record-equalling 15th title.

They needed to come from behind to secure a point against Paraguay (courtesy of a Lionel Messi penalty in the second half) and could easily have lost had Derlis Gonzalez scored for Paraguay from the spot kick with the score 1-1.

Colombia is already assured of topping the group and thereby avoiding Brazil in the quarter- and semi-finals.

Argentina, on the other hand, will – baring a miracle that would see Brazil lose to Peru and Venezuela beating Bolivia – face the hosts either in the first round of the knock-out phase or the round of the last-four.

Either way, that, coupled with the way they have played, does not instill confidence in those hoping that Messi, who has won just about everything personally and with his club, but nothing with the national senior team finally secures some silverware.

Football fans throughout Africa wanting to find out whether he finally breaks the duck need only to tune in to StarTimes, as the leading digital-TV operator in Africa has secured the broadcasting rights to the prestigious Copa América.

Brazil v Peru and Argentina v Qatar – as well as all other matches – will be broadcast live and exclusively on the StarTimes football channels.