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Mexico is first team to reach Copa America quarterfinals
by Paul Kennedy, July 2nd, 2007 7AM

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TAGS:  brazil, copa america, mexico


Mexico became the first team to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals of the Copa America when it beat Ecuador, 2-1, on Sunday in Group B.

The win was the second in a row for the Mexicans, who opened with a 2-0 win over defending champion and are on top of the group with the six points.

Brazil beat Chile, 3-0, thanks to a Robinho hat trick earlier on Sunday to move into a tie for second place with Chile.

Venezuela registered its first victory in the Copa America in 40 years when it beat Peru, 2-0, on Saturday. In Saturday's other Group A game, Uruguay beat Bolivia, 1-0.

There was controversy, on and off the field, over the weekend.

Peru complained bitterly about the refereeing of Mexican Benito Archundia, who waived off an apparent Canadian goal in the last seconds of the USA's 2-1 win over Canada in the semifinals of the Gold Cup.

Archundia sent off Peruvian Pedro Garcia after only 14 minutes for a retaliatory elbow on Giancarlo Maldonado and failed to whistle a foul by Venezuelan Hector Gonzalez on Peru's Chelsea signing, Claudio Pizarro, in the penalty area.

Fans at Maturin's Monumental Stadium had to walk miles and wait forever to get into the Group B doubleheader on Sunday.

As was feared, workers were unable to meet deadlines to finish the 52,000-seat stadium, which opened with layers of dust covering the new plastic seats and piles of garbage in the corners.

GAME SUMMARIES:
June 30 in San Cristobal
Venezuela 2 Peru 0. Goals: Cichero 49, Arismendi 79.
Venezuela -- Vega, H.Gonzalez, Rey, Cichero, Rouga (Perez, 38), Vera, Vitali, Paez, Arango (C.Gonzalez, 74), Maldonado, de Ornelas (Arismendi, 64).
Peru -- Butron, Vilchez, Villalta (Marino, 52), Rodriguez, Galliquio (Mendoza, 76), Acasiete, Bazalar, Garcia, Farfan, Guerrero, Pizarro (Zuniga, 67).
Red cards:
Venezuela -- Paez 77; Peru -- Garcia 14.
Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico).
Att.: 40,000.

June 30 in San Cristobal
Uruguay 1 Bolivia 0. Goal: Sanchez 58.
Venezuela -- Vega, H.Gonzalez, Rey, Cichero, Rouga (Perez, 38), Vera, Vitali, Paez, Arango (C.Gonzalez, 74), Maldonado, de Ornelas (Arismendi, 64).
Peru -- Butron, Vilchez, Villalta (Marino, 52), Rodriguez, Galliquio (Mendoza, 76), Acasiete, Bazalar, Garcia, Farfan, Guerrero, Pizarro (Zuniga, 67).
Red cards:
Venezuela -- Paez 77; Peru -- Garcia 14.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo (USA).
Att.: 40,000.

Group B
July 1 in Maturin
Brazil 3 Chile 0. Scorer: Robinho 36 pen, 84, 87
Brazil -- Doni, Maicon (Daniel Alves 26), Alex Rodrigo, Juan, Gilberto, Mineiro, Gilberto Silva, Elano (Josue 79), Anderson (Julio Baptista 46), Vagner Love, Robinho.
Chile -- Bravo, Ormeno, Fuentes, Riffo (Vargas 54), Contreras, Jara (Lorca 46), Sanhueza, Melendez (Iturra 20), Valdivia, Gonzalez, Suazo
Referee: Carlos Torres (Paraguay).
Att.: 42,000.

July 1 in Maturin
Mexico 2 Ecuador 1. Goals: N.Castillo 22, Bravo 80; Mendez 85.
Mexico -- Sanchez. I.Castro, Marquez, Magallon, Pinto, Morales (Pineda 83), Torrado, Correa, Arce, N.Castillo (Blanco 78), Cacho (Bravo 63).
Ecuador -- Mora, De la Cruz, Hurtado, Espanainoza, Bagui (Ayovi 71), Mendez, E.Tenorio (Reasco, 46), S.Castillo, Valencia, CTenorio (Borja 78), Benitez.
Referee: Rene Ortube (Bolivia).
Att.: 42,000.



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