The 2015 Copa America semifinals are all set and fans will see two unlikely teams face-off against two of the favorites to take the title.
With Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay out of the final stages of the tournament, the 2015 Copa America semifinals bring big possibilities of yet another huge upset. Paraguay sent Brazil packing after a dramatic round of penalties Saturday, which saw two Brazilian players miss their chance to send the Verde Amarela to yet another Copa America final.
After the disastrous 2014 World Cup ending for Brazil, fans were hoping this was their chance to redeem themselves. However, after Neymar got a red and received a four game suspension, which effectively ended his run at a major international tournament, again, their hopes turned to dust.
This is how things are looking for next week's match-ups. Chile will face archrival Peru on Monday, June 29, and Argentina will play against nemesis Paraguay on Tuesday, June 30. Peru and Paraguay are the unlikely semifinalists at the 2015 Copa America, where many picked the host, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, and Colombia to end up standing last.
On Monday, when Chile faces Peru, all eyes will be on the much-discussed Gonzalo Jara, who showed incredible unsportsmanlike conduct against Uruguay. The controversial defender touched Uruguay offensive player, Edinson Cavani, inappropriately, which was harshly criticized on social media. The video and disturbing photos made the rounds all over online and traditional press. Cavani was shown the red for reacting to the groping, after Jara theatrically threw himself on the field at the Uruguayan's reaction.Goal.com. Journalist Juan Arango just tweeted this in regards to Jara's punishment on Sunday, but insisted it's a rumor at this point.
June 28, 2015Even though there were rumors that Jara had been sent packing from the 2015 Copa America, it seems he is still on the Chilean roster -- to the consternation of fair-play loving fans all over the world. It has been revealed from old reports that this is not the first instance in which Jara has behaved in such a way.
Peru earned their spot in the semis with much less controversy, if in a more impressive manner, by beating another surprise quarterfinalist, Bolivia, 3-1. The "goleada" came thanks to a hat-trick from Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero. Chile was also impressive in the Groups stage, with more goals than any other team at that point.
In the second 2015 Copa America semi-final, heavy favorite Argentina meets the surprising Paraguay. Los Guaranis are still celebrating the massive upset of Brazil after a dramatic penalty kicks round on their match Saturday, and are always a dangerous team. However, Argentina is hungry to avenge the 2014 World Cup final loss to Germany, and wants to end the 22-year title-less drought.
La Albiceleste is also a 14-time Copa America winner, as well as a two-time World Cup champion, and the winner of one Confederation Cup in 1992.
Stay tuned for all the latest news and game schedules in the final stages of the 2015 Copa America in Chile.
[Photos by Laurence Griffiths, Chung Sung-Jun, Clive Mason, Lennart Preiss / Getty Images]