Understanding Copa America
- Copa America is played amongst men's national football teams of the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL. It was founded in the year 1916.
- The tournament format currently involves 12 teams - 10 teams from CONMEBOL and 2 guest teams.
- The host countries are rotated alphabetically and matches are played over a period of one month.
- Copa America 2015 was hosted by Chile.
Countries part of CONMEBOL
CONMEBOL is the abbreviated form of South American Football Confederation in Spanish/Portugese. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela are its member nations.
Format of the tournament
- Along with the 10 CONMEBOL nations, Jamaica and Mexico had been invited to play the 2015 edition of Copa America.
- The 12 teams were divided into three groups of four each.
- The teams play home and away round robin matches and the top two teams of each group proceed to quarter finals along with the two best third-placed teams.
Teams that qualified for quarter finals
- The 3 groups were: Group A - Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico; Group B - Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Jamaica and Group C - Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela.
- Chile and Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay, Brazil and Peru emerged as the top teams in their respective groups and hence qualified for the quarterfinals.
- Uruguay and Colombia which were the 2 best third-placed teams also qualified for QF.
Neymar's red card - head-butting anyone?
The group stage match between Brazil and Colombia ended badly as the Brazilian superstar Neymar was handed a red card for head-butting the Colombian defender, Jeison Murillo. The match resulted in Colombia winning 1-0.
QF and SF results
- The QFs which were knock-out matches saw Chile win over Uruguay, Peru over Bolivia, Argentina over Colombia and Paraguay over Brazil.
- Brazil, one of the tournament favorites saw a shocking loss in the penalty shoot out.
- The semi finals matches were: Chila v Peru and Argentina v Paraguay .
- While Chile beat Peru 2-1, Argentina thrashed Paraguay 6-1 to reach the final.
Chile wins the Copa America title
- In the 99 years after the Copa America championship began, Chile won the title for the first time beating 14 times winner, Argentina.
- The host for 2015 had been the top favorite to win the championship.
- A goalless 90 minutes+30 minutes of extra time led to a penalty shoot-out.
- The shoot-out ended in Chile winning 4-1, with Alexis Sanchez scoring the winning spot-kick.
Country with most wins
Uruguay - the champion of last edition of Copa America in 2011, is the most successful team, having won it 15 times.