The summer soccer feast continues, with both the Euro 2020 and Copa América moving into the final eight, offering TV quadruple-headers on Friday and Saturday, semifinals Monday through Wednesday, and championship finals next weekend. Euros are on ESPN and ABC; Copa América on Fox and FS1.
Fri., July 2: Switzerland-Spain (11am), Italy-Belgium (2pm)
Sat., July 3: Denmark-Czech Rep. (11am), England-Ukraine (2pm)
Tue.-Wed., July 6-7, 2pm: Semifinals
Sun., July 11, 2pm: Final
It was a wild round of 16, highlighted by 14 goals in two games on Monday. Defending champ Portugal is out, falling to Belgium (though Cristiano Ronaldo remains the tournament's leading scorer). World champion France is out, upset by Switzerland in penalty kicks. Netherlands is out as well, shut down and shut out by a bunch of no-names playing for the Czech Republic. Spain put up a five-spot for the second game in a row, a back-and-forth 5-3 overtime thriller over Croatia. England beat Germany for the first time ever at a major tournament (sending all three of the "group of death" powerhouses out in the first knockout round). High-flying Italy was shut out for 90 minutes by unfancied Austria and lost their 11-game shutout streak in OT, but scored two of their own to squeak through.
The Azzurri are still the favorites heading into the quarterfinals, especially with Belgian stars Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard both questionable after going out with injuries against Portugal. The winner there will likely get Spain in a tasty Tuesday semifinal. Meanwhile, the other side of the bracket looks wide open for England, though Ukraine will try to bore them to sleep, as they did Sweden in the one true dud game of the quarterfinals.
Fri., July 2: Paraguay-Peru (4pm), Brazil-Chile (7pm)
Sat., July 3: Uruguay-Colombia (5pm), Argentina-Ecuador (8pm)
Mon., July 5, 6pm & Tue., July 6, 8pm: Semifinals
Sat., July 10, 7pm: Final
As usual, it looks like Brazil and Argentina are the class of the field, and destined to meet next Saturday's final, after cruising to the top of their respective groups. Last week I tabbed Chile as the other likely contender; they stumbled to fourth place in their group, and a match-up with Brazil that'll be tougher than either of them expected in the first round. Uruguay and Peru both seem to have righted the ship after opening game losses; as group runners-up, I suppose they're slight favorites in the other quarterfinals.
Also, the U.S. women play Mexico tonight (Thu., July 1) at 6:30pm on FS1, just before the Austin FC game hosting the Portland Timbers at 8:30 on FS1. (And the U.S. men hop into Gold Cup action July 10.)