The Austin Chronicle

Soccer Watch

By Nick Barbaro, June 24, 2016, Sports

Tournament month continues: The Copa America Centenario is down to the final weekend as the European Championships head into their knockout stages starting Saturday.

Copa America Centenario

The U.S. reached its pre-tournament goal, advancing to the semifinals in elite company, then couldn't prove they deserved to be there, falling completely flat in a 4-0 loss to Argentina Tuesday night in Houston. Is Argentina the best team in the world, as I claimed last week? Hard to say on this evidence, because the U.S. played really poorly at almost every position, and seemed to have no game plan in any case. So Argentina goes on to the title game on Sunday, and the U.S. has to regroup for the third-place game Saturday. On the other side of the bracket are Colombia, ranked No. 3 in the world, and Chile (ranked No. 5), who absolutely humiliated Mexico in a 7-0 quarterfinal – their semifinal is on as we go to press Wednesday.

The U.S. third-place game is at 7pm, Sat., June 25 in Phoenix (FX and Univis­ion); the Championship final is at 7pm, Sun., June 26 in East Rutherford, N.J. (Fox, Univision).

Euro 2016

The headline news out of the group stages is that, with several favorites failing to win their groups, the bracket for the knockout stages has turned decidedly lopsided, with World Cup winners France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and England all in the same half of the bracket. In a bit of late drama, Ireland snatched a very late goal to beat Italy in the final game of the stage, nabbing a third-place spot, and ensuring that all four British Isles entries make the final 16. All games live on ESPN or ESPN2.

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