Copa America 2019 Power Rankings: Argentina, Brazil on semifinal collision course; Colombia rising
The group stage is over and the quarterfinal field is set in Brazil
The group stage of the 2019 Copa America in Brazil is in the rear-view mirror, and eight teams remain to fight for the title of champion of South America. It's been an intense tournament that has produced some surprising results, especially to some of the top teams. At this point, we have only a handful of contenders. Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay look like the strongest teams, while Argentina is holding on by a thread. Here's how the teams rank after the group stage, with the eight teams that are still in it and the four that were eliminated.
1. Brazil (Previous: 1)
Still No. 1 despite the draw against Venezuela. The 5-0 win over Peru to close out the group stage gives this team much-needed momentum to enter the knockout stage, where it will play a team it has had trouble at the Copa America this century in Paraguay.
2. Colombia (Previous: 3)
The only team to win all three games at the tournament, and they've been pretty impressive in the process. Los Cafeteros, like Brazil, have yet to concede a goal and have a favorable matchup against Chile in the quarterfinals. They have a real chance to win this tournament.
3. Uruguay (Previous: 2)
Big win over Chile after that draw against Japan. Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez are both looking sharp, and the midfield has been able to step up despite the youth. Probably the favorite on their side of the bracket to reach the final.
4. Chile (Previous: 4)
This team has impressed, and we can't forget that a lot of these players have won this competition before. Tough task to beat Colombia in the quarters, but they'll have a shot. Gary Medel is still causing trouble for opposing attackers.
5. Venezuela (Previous: 7)
The Vinotinto won't be scared to play Lionel Messi and Argentina. They beat them in March in a friendly in Spain and know they can do it again. Their cohesion and belief can take them far in this tournament, and they may even be the slight favorites due to Argentina's poor form.
6. Argentina (Previous: 5)
Barely got through to the knockout stage. Now it's a new tournament, and it's time to hit the reset button. Paulo Dybala has played 15 minutes in this tournament, and in those minutes he helped set up Sergio Aguero's goal against Qatar. It's time for him to play more.
7. Peru (Previous: 6)
Backing into the quarterfinals after getting blown out by Brazil. Much like Argentina, this team is in need of hitting the reset button. Peru can cause some trouble for Uruguay but this side is viewed as a big underdog in the quarters. It won't get many chances, and it will need to be clinical to have a realistic chance.
8. Paraguay (Previous: 8)
Into the quarterfinals thanks to the draw between Ecuador and Japan, but they face a tall task of being matched up against the tournament hosts in the quarterfinal. Paraguay knocked Brazil out in 2015 and 2011 in penalties, while also beating them in 2004. Could this be a trend?
9. Japan (Previous: 12)
This team came to this tournament on an invite from CONMEBOL, fielded a U-23 squad in preparation for next year's Olympic Games and picked up two respectable draws in the process. This wasn't the strongest roster they have, but they competed and did pretty well for themselves.
10. Qatar (Previous: 9)
Pushed Argentina to the limit, and maybe this team might not be so bad when it comes to hosting the next World Cup in 2022. They have some skillful players. Almoez Ali is a name to watch moving forward.
11. Ecuador (Previous: 10)
If you can't beat Japan with a spot in the quarters on the line, you don't deserve to advance. One win, two goals scored and seven conceded. It's been a tournament to forget for Ecuador.
12. Bolivia (Previous: 11)
In seven of the past eight Copa Americas, Bolivia has failed to advance from the group stage. Still the weakest team in South America by a long shot, and even more so now with the improvement of teams like Peru and Venezuela.
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