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Copa America Group A profiles

Copa America

Matchday 14: Messi, Argentina in round of 16

Five Aside
 By Tim Vickery

Dunga may have found Brazil's best formation; Ecuador, Uruguay cruise

Brazil put on a stunning display for their fans in Salvador, beating Peru 3-0 in their World Cup qualifier.

Renato Augusto
Renato Augusto's introduction into Brazil's midfield transformed the Selecao's play.

There are two explanations for the surprise top two in South America's World Cup qualifiers.

Firstly, Ecuador, with a 100 percent record, and Uruguay, three points behind, lead the field because of their own merits.

Ecuador have a well consolidated idea of play, breaking at pace with very dangerous wingers. And now, in Gustavo Quinteros, they would seem to have a quality coach who has brought his own refinements, protecting a suspect defence by making his team mark aggressively higher up the pitch.


 By Tim Vickery

Five players who shone in South America's World Cup qualifiers

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes breaks down the latest action from CONMEBOL as Argentina remained winless and Brazil cruised past Venezuela.

The journey to Russia 2018 is officially underway in South America, and the results so far have been anything but predictable. Here's a look at five players who stood out in the first two rounds of CONMEBOL's World Cup qualifiers:

1. Alexis Sanchez (Chile)

Just over three months ago, when Chile won their first title, it was Alexis Sanchez who had the honour of sealing the triumph. When the final of the Copa America against Argentina went to a shootout, it was his penalty, cheekily chipped down the...

 By Tim Vickery

Uruguay, Ecuador unlikely CONMEBOL leaders in World Cup qualifying

Angel Di Maria and Argentina were presumptive favorites in World Cup qualifying, but the plan hasn't gone to script.

When the fixtures were drawn for South America's World Cup qualification campaign, it always looked likely that November's third round would feature an early battle for the leadership. And indeed it will. However, that match won't be in Buenos Aires, where Argentina take on Brazil, as the two giants have gotten off to faltering starts.

Instead, first place will be up for grabs in Quito, where Ecuador host Uruguay. These two nations, along with newly crowned continental champions Chile, have won...

 By Tim Vickery

Ecuador stun Argentina, Alexis Sanchez inspires Chile against Brazil

Argentina's World Cup qualifying campaign got off to a poor start with a shock defeat at home to Ecuador.

Opening defeats for Brazil against Chile and for Argentina at home to Ecuador -- welcome to the most competitive World Cup qualification campaign around.

Since its establishment in 1996, the marathon format in South America, with all 10 nations playing each other home and away, has resulted in a massive rise in standards. With regular competitive games and guaranteed income, the less traditional football nations have been able to grow.

Ecuador had their best ever World Cup in 2006, as did Paraguay...

 By Tom Marshall

Mexico's focus turns to Gold Cup after Ecuador ends Copa America dream

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera said before Friday's 2-1 loss to Ecuador that anything other than a victory would be a "total failure" and that is how El Tri's latest Copa America campaign will be remembered.

The three points for Ecuador means it still has an outside chance of making the quarterfinals, while Mexico's participation is already over after another winless tournament.

Miller Bolanos opened the scoring for Ecuador in the 26th minute, with Enner Valencia increasing the lead in the 56th,...

Errors from Mexico defense send El Tri packing

With only two points earned in the group stage, Mexico is now headed home after only three matches at the Copa America.

Although the squad was made up of mostly fringe and back-up options, El Tri was expected to play with more energy and determination in the competition. An argument could be made for the standout performance against Chile, but the showings against Ecuador and Bolivia were underwhelming from the Mexican squad.

On Friday, Mexico looked tired against an Ecuadorian side that solidified...