In the second round, Costa Rica defeated Bolivia 2-0 Thursday night. On Wednesday evening, Colombia held tournament host Argentina, with Messi and Carlos Tevez up front, to a scoreless draw, after Argentina had drawn in the Copa America opening match with Bolivia. The starting XI for Colombia which frustrated the Argentines so much that they played with four forwards near the end of the match included Hertha Berlin midfielder Gustavo Adrian Ramos, who played all but the last minute of the match, being replaced by Mainz’ Elkin Soto. Ramos scored the only goal in Colombia’s 1-0 win over Costa Rica last Sunday, as Soto again appeared as a substitute.
The first round of matches ended last Monday with two games. Peru surprisingly gained a point with their 1-1 draw with Uruguay. A Bundesliga player scored Peru’s goal…no, not Claudio Pizarro (who’s injured), nor Schalke’s Jefferson Farfan, but rather Hamburg SV’s Jose Paolo Guererro. In the other match Monday, Chile came back to score two second-half goals to down a undermanned Mexico side, 2-1, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Arturo Vidal scoring the game winner.
Last Sunday, Paraguay was held to a scoreless draw by Ecuador, despite the presence of Borussia Dortmund’s Lucas Barrios, who was replaced in the 73rd minute by former Dortmund forward Nelson Haedo Valdez, who now plays in Spain. Former Bayern Munich man Roque Santa Cruz also started for the Paraguayans, but the three forwards could only muster five shots between them. Also on Sunday, Venezuela took on supposedly mighty Brasil, and got a result in the scoreless draw. Hamburg youngster Tomas Rincon and Juan Arango of Borussia Monchengladbach were starters for Venezuela, who held Brazil to only three shots on goal in the entire match.
This weekend matchups include the tasty Uruguay-Chile game on Friday, while Mexico meets Peru. On Saturday, Brazil takes on Barrios and Paraguay while Venezuela and Ecuador clash. Sunday’s action features the start of the last group stage matches as Group A sides Colombia and Bolivia do battle.
It’s been a rather quiet last few days on the transfer front for Bundesliga clubs. Jonathan Pitroipa, who has been with Hamburg SV since 2008, has transferred to Ligue 1 with club Stade Rennes. Pitroipa, 25, scored two goals in 26 matches for Hamburg last season. Lazio’s Erwin Hoffer, who played on loan with 1. FC Kaiserslautern last season, returns to Germany again on loan for the 2011-2012 season, but this time he will wear the kit of demoted side Eintracht Frankfurt. Hoffer scored five times in the Bundesliga in 24 games with the Red Devils, 13 of which were substitute appearances. Finally, goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald heads to 2. Bundesliga side MSV Duisburg from Werder Bremen on a free transfer. The 21 year-old played in 39 matches for Werder Bremen II over the last two seasons, and will have opportunity at Duisburg with David Yelldell’s transfer to Leverkusen.
Speaking of Werder Bremen goalkeepers, ESPN Soccernet reported that the club cannot afford to sign regular keeper Tim Wiese to a new contract. According to General manager Klaus Alloffs, “We have told Tim that, because of financial reasons, we can’t extend his contract at the moment,” Allofs told the Bild newspaper. Wiese’s contract expires at the end of the 2012 season, but he did not seem concerned. “I have a contract at Werder until 2012, which I would like to fulfil and I can also see myself extending it again,” stated Wiese.
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