Copa America – Semifinal – Last giant standing
By David, bettingexpert.com | Published
Two Uruguay managers compete for something more than just the final in this Copa America. Peru’s presence in the semifinals has surprised more than Uruguay’s as the latter registered their 15th victory over Argentina in their knock-out game. However, Markarian has been excellent in setting his team on the pitch and Tabarez will be wary of his counterpart’s experience as he looks to be the first not to disappoint the bookmakers’ label of favourites in this Copa America.
Peru – Uruguay
‘The Magician’, the nickname for the oldest manager in this competition Markarian, was the first to disappoint the odds when his Peru team defeated Colombia with two goals in extra time.
The mastermind behind the unexpected success is quite an eccentric person, not dissimilar to Mourinho in Europe. He is from Uruguay but never preferred settling there in order not to become overshadowed by the higher profile of Oscar Washington Tabarez. The ex-Milan manager is now leading his country’s national side and has also taken his team over a tough obstacle in order to get to the semifinals. The two managers now meet in what is a special encounter for both of them.
Peru were the first to qualify after a hard fought battle against Colombia. The Cafeteros has deserved to win over the 90 minutes, just as can be said for many of the favourites that went home packing after the quarter-final stage. However, Peru’s tactical discipline paid off as they suddenly came out of their hiding place with decisiveness during the added half an hour of extra time.
The difference between the two sides was not very marked though. Colombia had started well but Peru had their moments. Paolo Guerrero played a very good match and despite not scoring any of the two goals he was the player who caused most troubles to a defensive line-up that had up until then not conceded one single goal throughout the tournament.
Team captain Vargas was the main shoulder for Guerrero in attack with Markarian’s tactics isolating the two star players upfront and seeking to get the ball to them in order to find the net. The rest of the team acted out their part very well. Few were the spaces they left for Colombia.
For a team missing players like Farfan and Pizarro they have done very well. Vargas has also picked up an injury earlier on but still played against Colombia. His fitness may be a doubt though so resources are stretching out more and more for Markarian.
Tabarez has lost out on Cavani’s services after the second game but the Napoli forward should be able to recover for this clash after missing out on the quarter-final game. Will this be good news for the team? Cavani is certainly a good player to have in the team but the 4-4-2 alternative to the usual 4-3-3 was a more balanced option. After all, if you play Cavani and require him to restrict his game to the flank it is quite a waste of a great resource. It will be interesting to see how Tabarez will line up his team but common sense should push him for a 4-4-2 with Cavani on the bench, especially since Diego Perez, who scored the opener against Argentina will not be able to provide cover as a defensive midfielder after being sent off in the last match.
The last meeting between the two teams was in the group phase of this competition. For both it was the opening match and it had finished 1-1 with Suarez leveling Guerrero’s opener at the end of the first half.
Verdict: Uruguay -0.75
Taking Uruguay to win will be the natural prediction in this encounter especially since Peru have probably played all their cards in order to get to this stage, but one should note that this pitch is the same one as that on which Brazil lost against Paraguay. A ravaged field which does not favour quality of passing. Uruguay have already played their decisive match against Mexico on this same ground whilst Peru are yet to try it out.
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