Brazil and Venezuela join Chile, Colombia in Copa quarters
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Defending champion Chile and Colombia were joined by Brazil and Venezuela in the Copa America knockout stage on Saturday.
Peru finished Group A in third place and will wait for other results before celebrating a spot in the quarterfinals.
The third and last round of group matches started on Saturday.
The top two in each group and the two best third-place finishers advance to the quarterfinals.
Here is the situation after Saturday’s matches:
Brazil advanced as top of the group with seven points and will play on Thursday in Porto Alegre in the quarterfinals. Its adversary will be known on Monday. Paraguay, Japan and even Argentina are among the possible rivals in the next stage.
Venezuela qualified in second place with five points. It will play on Friday at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro against the second-placed team in Group B. Paraguay, Qatar and Argentina fight for that position on Sunday.
Third-placed Peru can also advance, but it will need to wait for other results on Sunday and Monday.
With Colombia through as group winner, the focus is on Argentina in last position with one point.
To finish second, Lionel Messi’s team will need to beat Qatar in Porto Alegre on Sunday and hope Paraguay, with two points, doesn’t win against Colombia in Salvador. If Paraguay wins, Argentina will finish third.
In that case, Argentina will hope Brazil beats Peru by more than two goals and that Japan doesn’t beat Ecuador on Monday in Belo Horizonte in Group C.
If Argentina draws the Asian champion, it will cheer for Colombia to beat Paraguay by more than two goals, and that Japan and Ecuador draw as well.
Chile, already qualified to the next stage with six points, and Uruguay, with four points, will play on Monday in Rio de Janeiro for top place in the group.
Japan and Ecuador face off later and need to win to advance as one of the best third-place sides. To finish second, Japan needs to beat Ecuador and hope for Uruguay to lose.
Ecuador can also go through if it scores its first three points against Japan, and Bolivia doesn’t beat Venezuela and Argentina draws with Qatar.