Copa America 2021 Opening Match: South America footballing fiesta kicks off with Argentina facing off against arch-rivals, Chile. As we head towards the commencement of Copa America 2021, fans will be excited to know that the health ministries of the host nations Argentina and Colombia have given green light to the idea of having a 30% crowd present in the stadiums. This will come as a relief for many avid football fans.
Copa America 2021 Opening Match
It has been around 2 years since football fans were allowed in the stadiums. Most recently, when Chelsea faced Leicester City in the FA Cup final, 21,000 fans were allowed in the Wembley Stadium. So, slowly and steadily, as more and more people are getting vaccinated, football is going back to be normal.
Although, a major disappointment of this year Copa America 2021 will be the absence of invited nations. Australia along with Qatar were the two invited nations for this edition. The latest travel restriction due to the COVID-19 second wave, the teams have withdrawn from this years’ tournament. Due to this incident, fixtures and groups had to be re-arranged by the Copa America Organizers.
The remaining 10 teams have been divided into two groups. Group A features host Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador. Whereas Group B contains the other host Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Paraguay.
Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador, and Colombia are going to be the main contenders to lift this years’ trophy. The South American nations have failed to impress in the World Cups recently. In the 2018 World Cup in Russia, only Uruguay and Brazil entered the quarter-final stage. Argentina lost to France in the Round of 16. Thus, South American teams will need to improve their performance to be back among the best in the world stages.
Chile will be looking to beat Argentina once again. They won Copa America 2016 by beating Argentina and they will want to start their campaign with a victory over Lionel Messi’s men. On the other hand, Argentina has some mixed news ahead of the Copa America 2021 and World Cup qualifiers. Exequiel Palacios, the Bayer Leverkusen star-midfielder along with Luca Alario is set to miss out on this years’ tournament with injuries. However, Emi Buendia (Norwich City) and Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa) have been called up to the national team by coach Lionel Scaloni. Their blistering form will give hope to Argentinian fans.
The Copa America 2021 opening match starts on 14th June at 2:30 AM IST and to be played in El Monumental Stadium, Argentina.