Final update for tonight about the u20 South American Championship. Brazil beat Ecuador 1-0 (without the suspended Neymar.) As a result, Ecuador is officially out of the Olympics hunt and in danger of being the tournament goat.
On Saturday, Uruguay and Brazil will duke it out for the title, however both of them will probably go to the Olympics. Even if Brazil lose to Uruguay (and they will have to lose to miss out on the Olympics), the goal differential looks like to be too much for Argentina to overcome (Brazil is +6 and Argentina as a 0 goal differential and Argentina will have to beat Colombia by at least 4 goals.) The good news however, is that Argentina made the Youth World Cup again after missing out on the last one. The loss of the Olympics is going to hurt though, especially since Argentina is the the two-time defending Olympic champion.
Ecuador’s players must be kicking themselves. If they had beaten Uruguay instead of drawing them (which almost a reality but for one of the all-time great misses in football history), then they would still be in the hunt for both an Olympic berth and the title. As it is, they need to beat or draw Chile just to qualify for the Youth World Cup.
So the final match day on Saturday is going to be extremely exciting. The title is still up for grabs, as is one Olympic berth and a final spot in the Youth World Cup. What a great tournament. South America never fails to entertain.
Finally, I want to link to a great drawing I came across. Matt Groening of Simpsons fame immortalized the Spanish National Team. His rendition of Carles Puyol is spot on.