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Copa America: Colombia Seeking Revenge on Ecuador


Copa America: Colombia Seeking Revenge on Ecuador

Colombia vs Ecuador

They may be one of the teams we expect to have a strong Copa America this year but when Colombia meet Ecuador on Sunday night, they must keep their nerve.    

The Copa America has the ability to light up the summer, and this clash is sure to provide some fireworks as Los Cafeteros are on the hunt for revenge. 

The last time they met Ecuador they took an almighty beating as La Tri ran away with a 6-1 victory. Should Reinaldo Rueda’s Colombia play to their potential, then retribution will surely be theirs.

But anything less than 100-per cent from the favourites could leave them open to another humbling.

Talking Points

Colombia’s Italian connection  

There are some huge games to come in Group B for Colombia, not least a grudge match against Brazil, the side they had a furious row with in 2014 losing 2-1 and blaming the referee and the Samba Boys tough tackling for their World Cup quarterfinal loss. 

But the Copa America 2021 betting odds place Colombia as one of a small number of teams alongside Uruguay and Chile who could break the dominance of Brazil and Argentina, and their strength owes much to the players who ply their trade in Serie A.

From Napoli’s David Ospina in the goals up to the lethal Atalanta strike duo of Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata of Atalanta, there is an Italian thread running through the side.

In Colombia’s last outing, Juventus’ wide man Juan Cuadrado put in a sensational cross for Miguel Borja to head home a last gasp equaliser against Argentina after Muriel had halved a two-goal deficit from the penalty spot.

Los Cafeteros have another motivation too, in that they have been deprived of co-hosting the Copa America following anti-government protests in the country.

Rueda won’t need to fire his players up for this game but he’ll need to keep them cool. 

Enner is Ecuador’s man 

Ecuador head coach Gustavo Alfaro took control of the team last August and under his guidance, La Tri have won four and lost three of their seven games – scoring 16 goals and conceding 11. 

They are in good shape in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers since they’re currently in third place on nine points – one ahead of Colombia in fifth – though they come into this game with back-to-back defeats to Brazil and Peru.   

31-year-old skipper Enner Valencia is the country’s top scorer with 31 goals from 57 games. The former West Ham striker is now plying his trade with Fenerbahce and still has the pace and energy that has made him a popular player everywhere he’s been. 

But Alfaro has a very inexperienced defence as 29-year-old centre-back Robert Arboleda is the most capped player with 22 appearances, and only Seattle Sounders defender Xavier Arreaga can boast double figures alongside Arboleda with 12 caps.

History 

Colombia have the richer history in World Football as Copa America champions in 2001 and World Cup quarterfinalists in 2014. Indeed, they are a big player on the South American and in the world stage.

Ecuador reached the World Cup Round of 16 in 2006 and have twice been Copa America semifinalists, the last time in 1993.

But when Ecuador thumped Colombia 6-1 in the World Cup qualifier last November, it left an indelible scar on Los Cafeteros. 

Arboleda opened the scoring on seven minutes and the floodgates then opened as Arreaga too was on target. And even though they went down to 10 men when Gonzalo Plata was sent off on 79 minutes, Ecuador still scored in injury time. 

It couldn’t have been much worse for Colombia!

But Los Cafeteros had won the previous four meetings with Ecuador, the most recent a 1-0 friendly in 2019.

Before that, they got a 2-0 victory in qualifying for Russia 2018. In fact, the 6-1 defeat was Colombia’s first loss to Ecuador in a while but it still hurts.  

Betting Tip

Colombia First Half Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 2.03

Here at SBOTOP, Colombia are clear favourites to open their tournament with a victory at odds of 1.77, with the draw at 3.20 and Ecuador at 4.36.

The underdogs come into this game on the back of two defeats in World Cup qualifiers and so, despite Ecuador’s big win over Colombia just six months ago, it would be big Copa America 2021 news if they could upset Los Cafeteros again.

I don’t think Colombia will waste any time in setting the record straight and I can see them forging ahead before the break. 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.


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