Ecuador

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Copa America roundup: Uruguay tops Chile; Full knockout bracket

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Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.

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And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.

Ecuador 1-1 Japan

There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.

Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.

Chile 0-1 Uruguay

Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.

Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.

Knockout round schedule

June 27
Brazil v. Paraguay

June 28
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile

June 29
Uruguay v. Peru

July 2
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru

July 6
Third place playoff

July 7
Final

Alexis Sanchez secures win for Chile over Ecuador

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Chile wasn’t exactly at its attacking best they displayed against Japan in the opener, but it got the job done as Alexis Sanchez and Jose Fuenzalida provided the firepower in a 2-1 win over Ecuador. The three points moved Chile into sole possession of the lead in Group C and secured a spot in the knockout stage for the defending champions.

The game had an edge from the opening whistle as Sebastian Mendez, newly installed into the Ecuador midfield after riding the bench for the opening loss to Uruguay, received a third minute yellow card for barging through the back of Charles Aranguiz. That spurred Chile on and they opened the scoring before the 10-minute mark, the second early goal Ecuador has conceded in its two Copa America matches.

Fuenzalida was the man to finish it off as a corner swung in and the ball pinged around the box until it rolled out to the 34-year-old where he fired a shot that found the inside of the far post. It put Ecuador behind early again after they shipped a sixth-minute opener to Nicolas Lodeiro and Uruguay a few days ago.

The game ground to a halt past the 20-minute mark as Chile settled in with the lead, but Ecuador found a moment with Chile a bit too relaxed. With Jefferson Orejuela on the ball in midfield and staring at acres of space down the middle, he burst forward and lofted a ball over the top to Romario Ibarra. The Minnesota United frontman lifted his leg up to tap the ball out of the air and to his teammate Mendez charging into the box. With Gary Medel left in Mendez’s wake, Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias came out of net and looked to smother the chance but instead chopped down Mendez and the referee awarded the clear penalty. Enner Valencia stepped up and blasted the ball through for Ecuador’s first goal of the tournament, leveling the game at 1-1.

In a tournament marred by constant VAR controversies, the problems continued as the referee initially gave nothing for a clear dive by Romario Ibarra under pressure from Arias. In a replay review that took nearly five minutes, the referee decided to change his decision and give a yellow card to Arias instead of carding Ibarra for simulation. All in all, it was the first yellow for Arias after he was not cautioned for the penalty earlier – which he should have been – so the farcical VAR booking thankfully did not see him sent off.

The second half started drab, but Chile bided its time and grabbed the lead in the 51st minute as an Aranguiz cross came in from the end line right of net and sailed the scrum in front of goal, only to fall at the back post where Alexis Sanchez was waiting. The Manchester United attacker delivered a pinpoint volley that chipped Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez and found the top-right corner.

Both sides had chances after Chile went ahead, but the defending champions looked more likely to score. Erick Pulgar nearly put Chile 3-1 up in the 65th minute but his bullet header off a corner was athletically saved by Dominguez with a diving stop to keep the ball from sneaking in under the crossbar. With time winding down, Ecuador’s job became monumental after Gabriel Achilier was sent off with a straight red card after a stray forearm caught Arturo Vidal in the head on an aerial challenge, and the referee immediately had his decision made.

Ecuador had little left to offer as Chile successfully saw out the game and picked up its second win of the group stage, securing a spot in the next round and eliminating Ecuador. Chile will round out the group stage with a match against Uruguay that will mean something for their opponents who have not yet secured a spot in the knockouts after slipping to a draw with Japan.

WATCH LIVE: Chile takes on Ecuador in Copa America

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Chile looks to continue its hot start as the defending Copa America champions meet Ecuador in Salvador.

[ WATCH LIVE: Chile vs. Ecuador ]

The tournament favorites topped Japan 4-0 in their opener four days ago and now have the chance to snatch sole possession of first place in Group C after Uruguay’s slip against Japan last night.

Eduardo Vargas scored a double against Japan and he leads the lines again tonight supported by Alexis Sanchez and Jose Fuenzalida. Chile boss Reinaldo Rueda makes no changes to the side that won its opener in convincing fashion, looking for the blistering start to continue.

For Ecuador, they hope for a stark turnaround after being blitzed by Uruguay 4-0 in the opening match. Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez has made heavy changes to the starting lineup, most notably benching Antonio Valencia and bringing Sebastian Mendez off the bench into the midfield. He has also brought Sao Paulo center-back Robert Arboleda into the side in place of Arturo Mina who had an own-goal in the loss to Uruguay.

Ecuador has gone five matches without a win, and Gomez received a vote of confidencee from the head of the Ecuadorian federation. “We are not understanding the reality of our football and that is not the fault of one or two people,” FEF president Francisco Egas told Ecuadorian radio station La Radio Redonda on Thursday. “If we believe that the crisis of the national team is the product of one person, we make a mistake already.  Today, we are paying for things that have not been done well for several years.”

Nonetheless, a shock victory over Chile would right the ship in a heartbeat and set Ecuador up for a shot at a knockout stage slot.

Copa America: Lodeiro’s golazo paces Uruguay; Qatar, Paraguay draw (video)

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action at the 2019 Copa America in Brazil…

[ WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: USA, Sweden advance ahead of Group F finale ]

Uruguay 4-0 Ecuador

Nicolas Lodeiro, in the company of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, completed Uruguay’s attacking trio to kick off La Celeste‘s Copa America quest on Sunday, and the Seattle Sounders star made the most of Oscar Tabarez’s faith by not only opening the scoring with a true golazo, but also by creating Uruguay’s second and third goals.

It was also Lodeiro who suffered the elbow to the face that saw Jose Quinteros sent off, and Ecuador reduced to 10 men, (following a lengthy video review) in the 24th minute.

Nine minutes after the red card, Cavani hit a side-volley to smash home two touches after Lodeiro headed the ball back into the box, bringing his tally of international goals to 47. 11 minute after that, Suarez poked home a second ball from Lodeiro’s corner kick to notch his record-extending 57th goal for Uruguay.

The rout was complete following Arturo Mina’s own goal in the 78th minute.

[ MORE: Copa America organizers worried about empty seats in Brazil ]

Paraguay 2-2 Qatar

Qatar, one of two guest nations (along with Japan) at the Copa America, fell 2-0 behind Paraguay before storming back to rescue a 2-2 draw and begin their first-ever Copa campaign with a point.

In truth, Qatar was the better side and would have never trailed by two goals if not for the early heroics of Paraguay goalkeeper Gatito Fernandez.

Paraguay went ahead after just four minutes, due to Pedro Miguel’s handball and Oscar Cardozo converting the ensuing penalty kick. Derlis Gonzalez made it 2-0 in the 56th minute, and advantage which held for all of 12 minutes before Almoez Ali halved Qatar’s deficit with a stunning strike in the 68th minute.

Juan Rodrigo Rojas was responsible for the equalizer — an own goal — just nine minutes later.

Monday’s Copa America schedule

Japan v. Chile — 7 p.m. ET

Watch Live: Copa America — Uruguay v. Ecuador

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Group C play is set to begin at the 2019 Copa America in Brazil, when Uruguay and Ecuador face off inside the Estadio Mineirao at 6 p.m. ET.

[ LIVE: Watch every single Copa America game ]

With the two-time defending champions Chile, as well as guest nation Japan, also in the group, Sunday’s showdown in Belo Horizonte is likely to go a long way toward deciding at least one of two teams to go through to the knockout rounds.

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani start together up top for Uruguay, with Seattle Sounders midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro behind them as the no. 10.

Hit the link above (or click HERE) to watch Sunday’s primetime fixture (in Spanish) and check back on PST for a full roundup of the day’s action down in South America.

You can watch every single game from the tournament live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes and via the NBC Sports App. All you have to do is click on the links below.

Sunday’s Copa America results (thus far)

Paraguay 2-2 Qatar