Chile, Panama in Copa America quarters qualifying battle

Chile, Panama in Copa America quarters qualifying battle

With Argentina already qualified for the quarterfinals of the Copa America, with La Albaceste all but assured of a top spot in Group D, with Bolivia likely not to cause the Lionel Messi-led side any worries, focus will certainly shift to the battleground for the last quarterfinal remaining spot.

The Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will host a certain mouthwatering clash pitting defending champions Chile against Central American side Panama. It wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, have ended up like this. Chile is a top team in the world and Panama is a good side. But Brazil and Uruguay are out, so too can Chile.

La Roja have stuttered in their trophy defense, losing the group opener to Argentina and requiring a deep injury time penalty to defeat Bolivia 2-1. The South American side certainly has to put more effort in its game, or else, its plans will come a cropper. With the likes of Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas, it is not easy to tell why Chile have been struggling.

Panama won its opener 2-1 over Bolivia, but had to endure a chilling 5-0 defeat at the hands of Argentina, including a second half 19-minute hatrick by Messi, in the second game. Los Canarelos know they aren’t the match favorites, but if Chile struggled against Bolivia, surely, coach Hernan Dario Gomez will tell his physically strong side to take the bull by the horns.

A draw will be okay for the Chileans since they have a better goal difference, meaning the match will be a must win for Panama in order to progress. The winner will face Mexico on Sunday morning Kenyan time.

Elsewhere, it will be expected for Argentina to easily dispatch Bolivia without much fuss at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. With Messi and Sergio Aguero back in the side, Angel Di Maria in fine form and the likes of Ever Banega and Javier Mascherano marshalling the midfield, La Albiceleste are now the main tournament favorites, after Brazil were dumped out. Focus may shift to a possible quarters encounter with Venezuela on Sunday morning, Kenyan time.

You can watch the Copa America Centenario LIVE ONLY on StarTimes

Wednesday 15th June, 2016

3:00AM Chile – Panama, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia

5:00AM Argentina – Bolivia, CenturyLink Field, Seattle

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