Sunday, March 22, 2020

CONMEBOL Copa America-Part Six (1995)

The 37th Edition of the Copa America was held in Uruguay in July 1995, one year after the 1994 World Cup.
The hosts had been in a state of negativity ever since the end of the 1990 World Cup and the appointment of Luis Cubilla as Manager. He had attacked Uruguay’s foreign-based players, who in turn had boycotted the National Team. This had led to poor performances in the 1991 and 1993 Copa Americas but most importantly Uruguay missed out on qualifying for the 1994 World Cup.

Photo From: Don Balon, Issue 1029, July 3-9, 1995
(1995 Copa America logo)

This Tournament at home was seen as an opportunity for the Uruguayans to reclaim their crowd.
It helped that the foreign-based contingent, led by veteran Enzo Francescoli, were available for selection. The new Manager Hector Nunez could once again count upon the services of Ruben Sosa and Daniel Fonseca among others (in addition to Francescoli).

Photo From: France Football, Issue 2571, July 18, 1995
(Musician Pajaro Canzani and Enzo Francescolli)
Note: Canzani had sung the official song of the Copa America 1995

The defending World Cup Champions Brazil were once again under the stewardship of Mario Zagalo. He had declared an ambitious plan to make Brazil’s attacking play more adventurous than the defensive mimded 1994 World Cup winning side.
Some of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup wining stars would be missing such as Romario, Bebeto, Branco and Cafu among others.
Nonetheless, Zagalo’s Copa squad would consist of some of the USA ’94 veterans such as Captain Dunga, Zinho, Leonardo, Taffarel, Jorginho and Aldair.
Zagalo included many young players that would potentially form the backbone of Brazil in the coming years.
This new generation included Ronaldo, not yet ‘El Fenomeno’, but a player with huge potential (and not to mention already a member of the 1994 side, though he did not play). Others included were the Sao Paulo midfielder Juninho, who had impressed in the previous month’s Umbro Cup in England.
The controversial Edmundo and Botafogo’s Tulio were called up to bolster the attack. At left back, Zagalo entrusted the emerging Roberto Carlos (incidentally he had been part of the 1993 Copa squad, but at the time he was seen as a potential reserve for the Senior squad).
Perennial rivals Argentina were also rebuilding following the 1994 World Cup exit (and the end of the Alfio Basile era) overshadowed with Diego Maradona’s drug ban.
The new man in charge was former 1978 World Cup winning Captain Daniel Passarella. He had sought to instill discipline and rejuvenate the side with the 1998 World Cup in sight.
A few of his new restrictions included insisting on players having short hair and not eat red meat.
Passarella wanted to form a backbone with many young players such as Zanetti, Ayala, Ortega, Gallardo and Escudero.
He included veterans such as Batistuta (after he had agreed for a hair cut), Balbo, Simeone and Chamot.
Colombia were still recovering from the memory of a tragic World Cup that had culminated with the assassination of Andres Escobar. Pacho Maturana’s former Assistant Hernan Dario Gomez now managed the Team.
He relied on the backbone of Captain Carlos Valderrama, Leonel Alvarez and Freddy Rincon. Parma’s Faustino Asprilla had been convinced to return to the side following his walkout after the assassination of Escobar.
Another returnee was eccentric goalkeeper Rene Higuita. He had missed out the 1994 World Cup after his imprisonment following his role as a go-between in a kidnapping in Colombia.
Former Colombia Manager Maturana was now the Manager of neighboring Ecuador.
The 1994 World Cup qualifiers Bolivia were under new Management as well. Spanish Manager Xabier Azkargorta had left to manage Chile. His compatriot Antonio Lopez led the side.
In fact in an unprecedented event, four Spanish managers led the Nations in this Copa. In addition to Azkargorta (Chile) and Antonio Lopez (Bolivia), Rafael Santana (Venezuela) and legendary Barcelona player and former Spain Manager Ladislao Kubala managed Paraguay.
Just like 1993, two guests from CONCACAF were included (for better revenue) and once again the invitees were Mexico and USA.
Steve Sampson following the resignation of Bora Milutinovic in the previous March now managed USA on interim-basis.
This was the very first Tournament that authorized three substitutes in an Official match. In addition for the first time a win would be worth three points in Copa America.

The matches started in Group "A" (based at Montevideo and Maldonado) on July 5th when the hosts Uruguay took on the continent’s weakest side Venezuela at the Centenario. The outcome was never in doubt as Uruguay won (4-1).
On the next day at Maldonado, Paraguay defeated Mexico (2-1) to gain an edge in the battle for the likely second place winners in the Group.

Photo From: Don Balon, Issue 1033, July 31-August 6, 1995
(July 5, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 4-Venezuela 1)

Photo From: Magazine Source Unknown 
(Uruguay squad, July 5, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 4-Venezuela 1)

Three days later on July 9th, Uruguay effectively won the Group after defeating Paraguay (1-0) through a beautiful Francescoli strike.
On the same day, Mexico predictably defeated Venezuela (3-1) to exert pressure on Paraguay.

Photo From: Don Balon, Edicion Chile, Issue 241, January 14-20, 1997
(July 9, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 1-Paraguay 0)

Photo From: Don Balon, Edicion Chile, Issue 246, February 18-25, 1997
(July 9, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 1-Paraguay 0)

Three days later, on July 12th, Paraguay defeated Venezuela (3-2) but had to suffer as the unfancied Venezuelans gave a fair account of themselves.
Due to torrential rain, the attendance was less than 1000.
The Uruguay-Mexico match was to take place on the same day, but due to bad weather had to be postponed for the following day (the first such occurrence in Copa History).
The match ended up as a tie (1-1) that helped Paraguay for the second place and automatic qualification. In the end, Mexico would move up as well as one of the best third placed qualifiers.
There was some controversy in this match as Uruguay veterans Bengoechea and Sosa showed dissent towards Manager Hector Nunez following their substitutions. Bengoechea (captaining the side in Francescoli’s absence) even threw down his armband.
As far as the hosts’ performances on the field were concerned, they advanced without really impressing.

Group “B” matches (all based in Rivera) started on July 7th with Colombia facing Peru and Brazil taking on Ecuador. The Colombia-Peru encounter featured a brilliant free kick goal by Faustino Asprilla (perhaps his only contribution worthy of note during the Tournament). Peru tied the match with a beautiful long-range shot of their own through Palacios (that many critics blamed Higuita for his positioning).
On the same day a rather unimpressive Brazil defeated Ecuador (1-0) through a Ronaldao (not to be confused with Ronaldo) header.
Zagalo expressed confidence that their performances would improve with each match.

Photo From: Don Balon, Issue 1032, July 24-30, 1995
(July 7, 1995, Copa America, Brazil 1-Ecuador 0)

Three days later on July 10th, Pacho Maturana faced his former team as Ecuador faced Colombia. However, the former assistant Dario Gomez came out the winner as Freddy Rincon’s strike settled the match.
Brazil were once again unimpressive n their win (2-0) over Peru despite achieving qualification

Photo From: AS Color
(July 10, 1995, Copa America, Brazil 2-Peru 0)

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 79, August 1995
(July 10, 1995, Copa America, Colombia 1-Ecuador 0)

On the last matchday July 13th, Ecuador faced Peru. The two Nations had been in a state of war earlier in the year and there had been suggestions that perhaps the sides should have been placed in different groups. In the end there was no trouble, as Ecuador won (2-1). On the same day, Brazil somewhat came to life in their (3-0) win over Colombia. The match featured a howler by Higuita who punched in an own goal from a corner.
The Colombian Federation would lodge an official complaint about Uruguayan linesman Hector Bonora, who allegedly told the Colombian players, “you cocaine consumers, shut it” after an incident.

Photo From: Libero, Issue 21, 1996-IFFHS
(Colombia squad, July 13, 1995, Copa America, Brazil 3-Colombia 0)
Note: This could also be the lineup vs. Peru on July 7th, the starting lineup is identical for both matches

Group “C” (based in Paysandu) had appeared to be a formality for Argentina. The matches started on July 8th, with USA defeating a disappointing Chile side (2-1). The angry Chilean Manager Xabier Azkargorta stated that, “My players have no balls”.
On the same day, Argentina defeated Bolivia (2-1) with Batistuta scoring in his third straight Copa America Tournament.

Photo From: Don Balon, Chile Edition, Issue no 201, April 23-29, 1996
(July 8, 1995, Copa America, Argentina 2-Bolivia 1)

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 79, August 1995
(July 8, 1995, Copa America, Argentina 2-Bolivia 1)

Photo From: France Football, Issue 2571, July 18, 1995
(July 8, 1995, Copa America, USA 2-Chile 1)

Photo From: Don Balon, Issue 1032, July 24-30, 1995
(July 8, 1995, Copa America, USA 2-Chile 1)

Three days later, Bolivia defeated USA (1-0) through an impressive Etcheverry strike. Argentina continued its free scoring form by defeating Chile (4-0) with Batistuta scoring twice. A 19 year-old Argentinean fan would later die after street battles between San Lorenzo and Platense fans

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 79, August 1995
(July 11, 1995, Copa America, Argentina 4-Chile 0)

On the last matchday (July 14th), Chile came to life by taking a (2-0) lead over Bolivia. Bolivia would come back and force a tie (2-2) and achieve third place that would advance them to the next round.
At this point this Group seemed like a formality for Argentina. For their last match vs. USA, Passarella decided to rest as many as nine starters from his lineup. It was a mistake that he would regret as the Americans, desperate for a win to advance, came out fighting for a win. USA scored twice in the first half. This forced Passarella to send on Ortega and Simeone in the second half to salvage something but USA struck again and earned one of their greatest victories of their Football History by defeating one of the major powers of Football (3-0). USA Manager Steve Sampson described it as a, “historic win for American Football.”
The loss had larger consequences, despite advancing Argentina had finished second in the Group behind USA and would now face Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Argentina’s loss was also overshadowed by the declarations of Manager Daniel Passarella in the days prior, who in an interview with ‘Clarin’ had stated that he would not select homosexual players for the National Team. This led to protests from Argentina’s gay community and un-needed media pressure.

Photo From: El Grafico Nª 3954 18-7-1995
(July 14, 1995, Copa America, USA 3-Argentina 0)

Photo From: El Grafico Nª 3954 18-7-1995
(July 14, 1995, Copa America, USA 3-Argentina 0)

Photo From: El Grafico Nª 3954 18-7-1995
(July 14, 1995, Copa America, USA 3-Argentina 0)

The quarterfinals would take place on July 16th and 17th. On July 16th, Colombia faced Paraguay in a match that ended in a tie (1-1) and had to be settled by a penalty kick shoot-out (won by Colombia). In fact three of the four quarterfinals matches would be settled this way.

Photo From: Don Balon, Chile Edition, Issue no 201, April 23-29, 1996
(July 16, 1995, Copa America, Colombia 1-Paraguay 1)

Photo From: El Grafico Nª 3954 18-7-1995
(July 16, 1995, Copa America, Colombia 1-Paraguay 1)

On the same day, Uruguay defeated Bolivia (2-1) at the Centenario to advance.
Daniel Fonseca was injured in the process of scoring his acrobatic winner for Uruguay.

Photo From: Don Balon, Issue 1033, July 31-August 6, 1995
(July 16, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 2-Bolivia 1)

On the following day, the CONCACAF Nations, USA and Mexico played to a scoreless tie that was settled by a penalty kick shoot-out (won by USA).

Photo From: AS Color
(July 17, 1995, Copa America, USA 0-Mexico 0)

The most entertaining encounter was between fierce rivals Argentina and Brazil at Rivera.
Argentina, eager to make up for their loss to USA, started brightly took an early lead through Balbo. Edmundo tied the score shortly thereafter before Batistuta once again restored Argentina’s lead. Argentine midfielder Astrada’s dismissal in the end of the first half would have a profound effect on the match. Passarella would make defensive substitutions in the second half by taking off Ortega and Batistuta and sending on Perez and Ayala. Passarella’s intent was to maintain the score. He almost succeeded but with less than ten minutes remaining, Brazil would score a controversial equalizer. Brazilian striker Tulio would control a cross clearly with his arm before settling it down and scoring. It was obvious to everyone except the referees and the goal stood. The match would remain tied and once again settled by a penalty kick shoot-out and a Brazilian victory.
As expected, there was much outcry afterwards; Diego Maradona would refer to Zagalo as a senile in need of an ophthalmologist. For his part, Zagalo stated that in the end it made no difference since everything was “arranged” to ensure an Uruguay victory in the end.
Zagalo had also complained that the draw favored Uruguay. Uruguay Federation President Carlos Maresco responded, “Zagalo should know that the host team have to have the best chance to reach the final, otherwise economic results would be disastrous”.
For their part, the Argentineans accused the Brazilian Federation President Ricardo Texeira in pressuring referees to help Brazil.

Photo From: Don Balon, Edicion Chile, Issue 242, January 21-27, 1997
(July 17, 1995, Copa America, Brazil 2-Argentina 2)

Photo From: El Grafico Nª 3954 18-7-1995
(July 17, 1995, Copa America, Brazil 2-Argentina 2)

The first semifinal took place on July 19th with the hosts facing Colombia at the Centenario. Uruguay would run out winners (2-0) to advance to the Final.
On the following day at Maldonado, an early strike by Aldair was enough to end the American adventure. Brazil advanced to face their other Historical continental rival for the Final.

Photo From: AS Color
(July 19, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 2-Colombia 0)

Photo From: AS Color
(July 20, 1995, Copa America, Brazil 1-USA 0)

On July 22nd, Colombia faced USA for the third place match. Colombia gained a measure of revenge for their loss at the previous year’s World Cup by winning (4-1) against a tired and unmotivated American side. Rene Higuita nearly scored a goal from a free kick. His attempt struck the post with Asprilla knocking in the rebound.

Photo From: Don Balon, Chile Edition, Issue no 213, July 16-22, 1996
(July 22, 1995, Copa America, Colombia 4-USA 1)

On July 23rd, the Final took place at the Centenario between hosts Uruguay and defending World Cup Champions Brazil.
Brazil were better in the first half and controlled the game. They would strike in the 30th minute with Tulio chesting in Edmundo’s pass after Zinho’s opening.
This would Tulio’s only contribution, as he would be well marked by Eber Moas throughout the match.
Uruguay Manager Hector Nunez had gambled on with starting the not-fit Fonseca (still carrying an injury from the Bolivia match).
Nunez would take off the ineffective Fonseca at halftime, replacing him with Sergio Martinez.
He would also replace Dorta with Bengoechea, the hero of the 1987 Copa America Final.
When Ruben Sosa saw Martinez warming up to replace Fonseca, he threw his shirt down in anger and left the bench (Francescoli had to intervene to bring him back for the eventual celebrations).
The substitutions proved effective as Uruguay piled on the pressure. Bengoechea would tie the match with a free kick in the 51st minute. For the rest of the match neither side would exert an advantage and the match would end as a tie and once again a penalty kick shoot-out was needed.
The Uruguayan hosts would be victorious in the shoot-out to expectedly win the Copa on home soil.
In doing so, Uruguay won their 14th Copa America and tied Argentina in the number of trophies.
The 34 year-old Francescoli was able to cap off an impressive career with a glorious win on home soil with a trophy.
He would be voted as the player of the Tournament.
For the hosts, Tabare Silva also earned plaudits at left back, as did Marcelo Otero upfront. The Tournament signaled the end of the International career of Ruben Sosa in the autumn of his career. A player of his ability deserved a better ending than a peripheral role in Uruguay’s win.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 79, August 1995
(July 23, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 79, August 1995
(July 23, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1995
(July 23, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From: Historia de La Copa America, 2a Edicion
(July 23, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1995
(July 23, 1995, Copa America, Uruguay 1-Brazil 1)

It remained to be seen whether Uruguay’s victory had been achieved due to home field advantage or actual ability. In any case, it was a much-needed boost for Uruguay after the disappointments of the previous years.
Like every Tournament there were criticisms leveled at the Organization. The poor state of the Centenario pitch was mentioned. Many critics believed the conditions on the field made players susceptible to injuries.
Many believed it clearly affected Brazil’s play in the Final who were used to the good grass at Rivera.
The ticket prices were also another complaint. The cheapest tickets were 30 US Dollars. Many believed this to be a factor for the low attendances in the first round.
FIFA also prohibited live transmission of matches within Uruguay for commercial purposes. In protest Television Stations blotted out static advertising in Stadiums.

As for Brazil, Zagalo stressed on the future objectives like the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Brazil’s playing style was also criticized, as their (4-3-1-2) favored slow build-ups and not many scoring opportunities.
At left back Roberto Carlos was one of the discoveries of the Tournament and would make the position his own into the next decade. He was also on his way to Internazionale Milano (to be joined by Argentina’s Zanetti).  Juninho had also impressed (continuing his progress from the 1995 Umbro Cup). In a matter of months, he would also be on the move (to Middlesbrough).
Brazilian Captain Dunga played well and Tulio and Savio also stood out, though Tulio would disappear from International reckoning afterwards.
Ronaldo would be the global sensation of the game within two years but at this point and in this Copa, he did not have many opportunities to shine.

Argentina were lethal upfront with Batistuta and Balbo, but Passarella took a lot of criticism for his tactical decisions (not to mention his public pronouncements on homosexuals).
Zanetti and Ortega also received some praise while the 19-year-old Gallardo was deemed a somewhat disappointment.
For Colombia, Asprilla was the greatest disappointment and a shadow of his Parma self.
The USA program appeared to be improving and its Manager Steve Sampson would be rewarded with a full-time contract in the following month.
Both goalkeepers Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller alternated and were impressive as was Eric Wynalda upfront.
Chile had a Tournament to forget and Xabier Azkargorta would soon be on his way out. It must be said that they were missing Ivan Zamorano.
Mexico were also disappointing and did not build on the success of their 1993 performance.
The Tournament was about to enter a new era. CONMEBOL had decided to have World Cup qualifiers on a round-robin basis featuring all the Nations playing one another home and away. This process would take nearly two years and would take precedence over future Copa Americas with the 1997 Edition the first to feel the impact.

1-The mascot of the Copa America 1995 was named a ‘Pepito’, a bull created by Jose Luis Huart.

2-The bonuses were to be divided as such:
a)     Each Nation guaranteed 150,000 US Dollars.
b)     If advanced to next round, an extra 60,000 US Dollars.
c)     The Nation finishing Fourth: 120,000 US Dollars.
d)     The Nation finishing Third: 200,000 US Dollars.
e)     The Nation finishing Runner-up: 300,000 US Dollars.
f)      The Nation finishing Champion: 500,000 US Dollars.

3-For this Tournament, with FIFA’s accord, all eleven non-playing substitutes were eligible to enter the play.

4-Colombia were to be stationed at Rivera-based club Oriental’s training field. However, after the club requested 6,000 US Dollars, the Colombians moved to Brazil and trained at Gremio’s facilities.

5-Paraguay goalkeeper Ruben Ruiz Diaz returned to Asuncion after violent bouts of diarrhea. Jorge Battaglia started in his place vs. Colombia in the quarterfinals.

6-Brazil goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel was suspended for Brazil’s first two matches for wearing gloves with advertisements on them during the 1994 World Cup.

7-Brazil substitute goalkeeper Danrlei had asked his fiancée to reside in a hotel near the Brazil Team hotel so that he could visit her. For this breach of discipline, Zagalo did not start him in the first two matches and started with Dida.

8-Colombia’s Adolfo Valencia “el Tren” refused selection as he was on vacation, much to the dismay of Manager Hernan Dario Gomez.

9-The Argentina squad was to include Cristian Bassedas, but his injury forced Passarella to call up Juan Jose Borelli while he was on Holiday.

10-Colombia’s Freddy Leon (16 years old) was the youngest player of the Tournament, followed by 19-year-old Ronaldo (Brazil). Bolivia’s Carlos Borja (38 years old) was the oldest player in the Copa.

11-During the Tournament, Diego Simeone became a father. He turned down the offer to visit his family and preferred to stay with his Argentina teammates.

12-Diego Maradona was seen at Paysandu at Argentina’s matches. He told the media to not cover him out of respect for those who are playing.

Photo From: France Football, Issue 2571, July 18, 1995
(Diego Maradona at Paysandu in the audience)

Photo From: Don Balon, Issue 1032, July 24-30, 1995
(Team of the Tournament by Don Balon Magaizne)

Photo From: Libero, Issue 21, 1996-IFFHS  
(Team of the Tournament by Libero-IFFHS  )

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1995 
(Team of the Tournament by World Soccer )

Photo From: France Football, Issue 2573, August 1, 1995
(Team of the Tournament by France Football)

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1995 
(Quotes from the Tournamnet)

Mundi Cromo Sport, Copa America 1995
Navarrete Copa America 1995
El Grafico Nª 3953 11-7-1995
El Grafico Nª 3954 18-7-1995
Calcio 2000, Issue 21, July 1999
Don Balon, Issue 1029, July 3-9, 1995
Don Balon, Issue 1032, July 24-30, 1995
Don Balon, Issue 1033, July 31-August 6, 1995
Don Balon, Issue 1031, July 17-23, 1995
France Football, Issue 2570, July 11, 1995
France Football, Issue 2571, July 18, 1995
France Football, Issue 2572, July 25, 1995
France Football, Issue 2573, August 1, 1995
Historia de La Copa America, 2a Edicion
AS Color (July 1995) 
World Soccer, September 1995
Onze-Mondial, Issue 79, August 1995

1 comment:

  1. ابدأ مشروعك الخاص بسهولة في الإمارات. إذا كنت ترغب في إنشاء شركة جديدة أو تأسيس شركة تابعة مملوكة بالكامل في الإمارات نحن مكتب اتقان سوف نعمل على توفير كل ما يلزمك لتحقيق ذلك وفق إجراءات سريعة وسهلة وواضحة.
    حيث تعد الإمارات تقدم للمستثمرين مجموعة من المزايا الفريدة لتلبي متطلبات الأعمال على مختلف أنواعها.

    تاسيس شركة فى المنطقة الحرة
    انشاء شركة في المنطقة الحرة
    تسجيل شركة المنطقة الحرة
    تسجيل شركة في المنطقة الحرة في الإمارات
    الاستثمار في المنطقة الحرة بدبي
    انشاء شركة في المنطقة الحرة
    فتح شركة في المنطقة الحرة
    إنشاء شركة في المنطقة الحرة دبي
    إنشاء شركة بالمنطقة الحرة دبي
    تكلفة رخصة تجارية بالمنطقة الحرة دبي