Saturday, February 17, 2018

Copa America-Part 5 (1993)

The 1993 edition of the Copa America took place in Ecuador in the summer of 1993. Similar to the 1989 Edition, the games preceded the World Cup qualifiers by just weeks and naturally the participating Nations had the World Cup in the back of their mind.
The relative small Nation (in footballing terms) Ecuador had spent Millions of Dollars in refurbishing six Stadiums and in infrastructure to host these games.
This would be the first Copa with seven grounds and six venues.

Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3847, 1993
(Copa America logo)


Most notably the Nation’s President Sixto Duran Ballen appeared to have a vested interest in the success of these games.
The 1993 Edition of the Copa America presented a new novelty. To increase interest and (obviously revenue), two CONCACAF nations were invited to participate.

Photo From:  Historia de la Copa America
(Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen)


The USA and Mexico would be the first “guests” in the history of the Tournament.
The Mexicans had already qualified for the 1994 World Cup and came at the games without any undue stress. They were captained by the former Real Madrid great Hugo Sanchez (nearly 35 years old).
Their goalkeeper was Jorge Campos, the man with colorful jerseys, who could also play as a forward.
The United States were to host the 1994 World Cup and these games presented an excellent opportunity for their Manager, the Yugoslav Bora Milutinovic to test out players in much needed competitive Tournament environment (in a Nation with still no Professional League of its own).
He chose not to select some of his foreign-based regulars such as John Harkes, Eric Wynalda, Thomas Dooley and Roy Wegerle and starting goalkeeper Tony Meola was along with the squad but only as a substitute and would see no action.
For the host Nation Ecuador, this Copa America presented an ideal stage to display the progress made under their long serving Manager Dusan Draskovic (present in 1989 and 1991 Copas).
The hosts felt with the home crowd support, they could advance further than they ever had before.
In contrast to the hosts the other Nations did not present their full strength squads. As mentioned earlier, the World Cup qualifiers were the priority and many were open in that regard.
Brazil, under Carlos Alberto Parreira, presented an under-strength squad (essentially a B-side). C.A. Parreira even declared that he viewed the Copa America as a “secondary matter”. In his case he might had a point as the Copa was sandwiched between the US Cup (http://soccernostalgia.blogspot.com/2017/06/tournaments-part-8-us-cup-1993.html) and the World Cup Qualifiers (http://soccernostalgia.blogspot.com/2018/01/qualification-phase-part-seven-brazil.html).
The key players were saved for these two objectives and Parreira instead preferred to use the Copa America for experimental purposes to try out younger players. Goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel would be the only foreign-based player. The rest of the squad comprised of mostly Sao Paulo and Palmeiras players. These included a young up and coming left back named Roberto Carlos. Apart from Taffarel, Parreira selected few veterans. The most notable one,  1986 and 1990 World Cup veteran Luis Muller.
Aregntina, the Defending 1991 Copa America Champions, under Manager Alfio Basile appeared as strong as ever. They were still undefeated in three years and had won the ‘King Fahd Cup’ and the ‘Artemio Franchi Cup’ in the preceding months.
Up to 13 of the 1991 Copa winners were still present in the current squad. The 1991 Edition had launched Gabriel Batistuta in the International spotlight and he had confirmed his status by knocking in goals for Fiorentina and the National Team with regularity since.
They would have two key absences. AS Roma based striker Claudio Caniggia had been banned for failing a Drug Test and his suspension would end just before the 1994 World Cup in a year’s time. In addition, Argentinean super-star Diego Maradona had been re-integrated in the National Team a few months before, but he would be unavailable for this Tournament as his head was elsewhere as disciplinary issues with his club Sevilla would eventually lead to him being fired as a player.
Argentina was nevertheless a solid side captained (once again in Maradona’s absence) by Oscar Ruggeri along with 1990 penalty kick saving hero Sergio Goycoechea and Diego Simeone among others.

Colombia, with Pacho Maturana back at the helm were still loyal to their ‘toque’ playing style of attractive play. The backbone of the squad was still intact  with Carlos Valderrama skippering the side ably assisted by the likes of Leonel Alvarez and Freddy Rincon. There were some notable changes, eccentric goalkeeper Rene Higuita was out of the picture, as he was arrested after he had acted as a go between in a kidnapping incident. The new goalkeeper was Oscar Cordoba, who was not a personality like his predecessor but was considered a solid, sober type (definitely not prone to run out of his goal-line ‘a la Higuita’).
The new personality of the team was Faustino Asprilla. He had finished an excellent season in Italy with Parma and was billed as the team’s new Superstar.

Just like the 1991 Edition (that they hosted), Chile had no World Cup qualifiers to look forward to as they were barred from participating in the 1994 World Cup (following the 1989 firecracker incident at Rio involving goalkeeper and Captain Roberto Rojas).
Their Manager in 1991, Arturo Salah was still in charge of a side dependent on the goalscoring prowess of Ivan Zamorano (now at Real Madrid).

For Uruguay not much had changed since 1991. Their Manager Luis Cubilla was still embroiled in his feud with the foreign-based players (Enzo Francescolli, Carlos Aguilera, Ruben Sosa, Daniel Fonseca, etc).
Cubilla was also at odds with Paco Casal, the personal manager of most Uruguay star players.
Cubilla nevertheless selected ‘Serie A’ based Francescolli, Sosa and Luis Herrera.
As far as Sosa, his club Internazionale Milano stated that he was “unreachable”.
It was also stated that he was injured, but many believed it was a “diplomatic” injury.
In any case, the trio never showed up amidst the feud and Uruguay had to once again present a relatively under-strength squad.

Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela rounded out the participants.
The addition of the two new teams (USA and Mexico) led to a change in format of the competition. The teams were placed in three Groups of four teams (in a round-robin format).  The top two teams in each Group (along with the two best third placed teams) would then advance to the next round, which would be disputed in elimination format (Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Third place and Final).
It had also been decided to do away with Overtimes and head straight into penalty kick shoot-out in tied matches in the knockout rounds.
Gamavision won the Television rights over Brazilian firm Traffic.
The Tournament also had many high profile observers. Pele and Cesar Luis Menotti were as part of the Media covering the matches for Television.
As a special guest, Pele even received the keys City of Guayaquil from its Mayor.

In Group A, Ecuador were grouped with Uruguay, USA and Venezuela. The matches would take place in Quito’s Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa and Ambato’s Estadio Bellavista.
The first round of matches in this Group took place on June 15th and 16th.
Ecuador kicked off the Tournament by hosting Venezuela at Quito on June 15th.
This would be a mismatch and the hosts would comfortably win (6-1) in front of their fans. The display of the hosts pleased the crowd and observers alike, even though they were facing the weakest team on the continent.
Angel Fernandez scored a double and Alex Aguinaga (who would be a stand out for the hosts) scored the sixth goal.
Venezuela’s lone reply was from José Dolguetta (who surprisingly would end up as the top goalscorer of the Tournament).


Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(June 15, 1993, Copa America,  Ecuador 6-Venezuela 1)

Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2464, June 29, 1993
(June 15, 1993, Copa America,  Ecuador 6-Venezuela 1)


On the following day (June 16th) at Ambato, Uruguay hosted USA for the first ever encounter vs. a North American Nation in the Copa America.
Both squads struggled, mostly due to the high altitude (which most nations would point as a cause for general poor performances).
The Americans would lose their Libero Desmond Armstrong to injury just before halftime and his tournament was over.
He would be replaced by Jeff Agoos which led to a reshuffle in tactics for the second half. Alexi Lalas would take Armstrong’s spot as Libero. Paul Caligiuri was moved from the left back to midfield and Agoos was moved to Caligiuri’s spot at the back.
Early in the second half (50th minute), Uruguay snatched the win (1-0) when Santiago Ostolaza headed in a corner.


Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3847, 1993
(June 16, 1993, Copa America, Uruguay 1-USA 0)


Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2464, June 29, 1993
(June 16, 1993, Copa America, Uruguay 1-USA 0)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(June 16, 1993, Copa America, Uruguay 1-USA 0)


Despite the loss, this was USA’s best performance in the Copa and USA Manager Bora Milutinovic was satisfied with the performance. He felt USA lost due to a soliatry mistake in marking.
In a humorous episode during the match, Milutinovic was angry at his players who were not following his instructions. At one point he turned around to the armed Ecuadorian Police and jokingly told them to give him their guns because he wanted to shoot his players.

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(June 16, 1993, Copa America, Uruguay 1-USA 0)

The next round of matches in the Group was days later on June 19th. Ecuador hosted USA at Quito, while Uruguay and Venezuela faced one another at Ambato.
Milutinovic made some changes to the American squad from the previous match. Armstrong was already out injured and Cle Kooiman would start as Libero. In addition, Caligiuri, Woodring and Harbor were dropped to be replaced by John Doyle, Chris Henderson and Bruce Murray.
Ecuador confident after the high scoring win over Venezuela took the game to the Americans.
They scored twice before halftime through Ney Raúl Avilés (11th minute) and Eduardo Hurtado (36th minute) and held on for their second win (2-0) and qualify for the next round.

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(June 19, 1993, Copa America, Ecuador 2-USA 0)


On the same day, Uruguay’s match vs. Venezuela appeared to be a formality for the Uruguayans and the only question was just how many they would score. The match became was a rude awakening to them. How much of it was due to the high altitude/absence of foreign players/etc was hard to say.
Uruguay would fall behind twice before tying the match (2-2) with little over ten minutes remaining. Venezuela’s José Dolguetta managed to score once more for Venezuela.
The final matches in this Group took place three days later (June 22nd) at Quito. USA and Venezuela tied (3-3) one another in a very entertaining match. The Americans had taken a (3-0) lead by the 52nd minute. Though it must be said that their second goal by Peter Vermes (39th minute) should not have been awarded, as the ball did not seem to have crossed the line. They nevertheless appeared to be coasting for a win when they capitulated due to fatigue.
José Dolguetta would score twice (65th minute, 78th minute, 4th goal overall). Venezuela’s Stalin Rivas was sent off in the 84th minute to further disadvantage Venezuela. Despite this, Venezuela continued attacking and were rewarded with a last minute equalizer by Miguel Echenaussi.
Milutonovic was distraught after match and accepted blame for team’s performance. Despite USA’s elimination, Milutinovic was satisfied with the experience of the Tournament. He stated that he had learned much about the players and about what he could expect from certain players.

Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3848, 1993
(June 22, 1993, Copa America, Venezuela 3-USA 3)


Photo From:  Historia de la Copa America
(June 22, 1993, Copa America, Venezuela 3-USA 3)


Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
(June 22, 1993, Copa America, Venezuela 3-USA 3)

Photo From:  94 Upper Deck World Cup
(Tab Ramos, June 22, 1993, Copa America, Venezuela 3-USA 3)



Ecuador finished off the Group with yet another win by defeating Uruguay (2-1). Alex Aguinaga scored the winner just before the end for the hosts to finish with maximum points.
Ecuador and Uruguay qualified to the Quarterfinals round from the Group A, while Venezuela were eliminated as the worst of the third place finishers.

Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3847, 1993
(June 22, 1993, Copa America, Ecuador 2-Uruguay 1)


Photo From:  Historia de la Copa America
(June 22, 1993, Copa America, Ecuador 2-Uruguay 1)

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
(June 22, 1993, Copa America, Ecuador 2-Uruguay 1)


The only blot on Ecuador’s performances was off the field, when Draskovic was forced to discipline a number of his players.
Players had been given permission to see their families on Fathers’ Day. Holger Quinonez and Ivan Hurtado did not return until the following morning (and intoxicated). Ten other players arrived later than the specified time.
Draskovic dismissed Quinonez and Hurtado from the squad and fined $200 each of the ten players.
Quinonez demanded why he and Hurtado were punished given the fact (according to him) that other players were drunk as well.
Ivan Hurtado apologized and was re-integrated, while Quinonez was left off the squad.

The Group B contained Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Peru (Paraguay and Peru happened to be lodged at the same Hotel). The matches were played in Cuenca’s Estadio Alejandro Serrano Aguilar.
The high altitude of Cuenca would also affect the team’s performances.
Normally Brazil should have won the group with much difficulty, but other teams could exploit the fact that they were represented by mainly reserve and fringe players unaccustomed to play as a unit.
Roberto Cabanas had been called up in the last minute by Paraguay and immediately appointed Captain. Paraguay’s Argentinean Manager Hector Corte had been fired just days before the Tournament (many blamed Cabanas for that) and replaced with Alicio Solalinde.
As far as Chile, they were still waiting on Ivan Zamorano (still retained by Real Madrid for League play).
The matches kicked off on June 18th with Paraguay defeating Chile (1-0) through an early goal by Cabanas (6th minute).


Photo From:  Don Balon, Chile Edicion, October 8-14, 1996
(June 18, 1993, Copa America, Paraguay 1-Chile 0)


Photo From:  Don Balon, Edicion Chile, April 16-22, 1996
(June 18, 1993, Copa America, Paraguay 1-Chile 0)


Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2464, June 29, 1993
(June 18, 1993, Copa America, Paraguay 1-Chile 0)


On the same Brazil played Peru to a scoreless tie. Carlos Alberto Parreira was not overly dismayed by the result. He stated “not possible to have a great team when average age is 23…it’s also the first time they are playing together…therefore why should I be surprised or disappointed by our game ….in addition the problems of adapting to high altitude which made us suffer physically”.


Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2464, June 29, 1993
(June 18, 1993, Copa America, Brazil 0-Peru 0)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(June 18, 1993, Copa America, Brazil 0-Peru 0)


Three days later on June 21st, Paraguay and Peru tied (1-1), while Chile surprisingly defeated Brazil (3-2) through a double from the second half substitute Richard Zambrano.
Taffarel was dropped for this match, as he was off-form. It must be pointed out that he had hardly played for Parma during the League season and was not match-fit.
1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cup veteran Carlos started in goal for Brazil.
Boiadeiro and Zinho also started ahead of Luisinho and Elivelton.


Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(June 21, 1993, Copa America, Paraguay 1-Peru 1)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(June 21, 1993, Copa America, Chile 3-Brazil 2)

The final round of matches in this Group took place on June 24th.  Peru qualified to the next round (and won the Group) by defeating Chile (1-0) through a penalty kick by Jose Del Solar (14th minute).
Initially Venezuela’s Alvaro Arbolada was to referee this match, however, the Colombian Jose Torres replaced him, due an apparent car accident by Arbolada. Many did not believe the accident excuse and believed Peru had influenced the decision.
For Chile, This was Ivan Zamorano’s sole appearance in the Tournament.

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
(June 24, 1993, Copa America, Peru 1-Chile 0)


Meanwhile, Brazil were starting to slowly get into rhythm and defeated Paraguay (3-0) through a double strike by Palhinha. They qualified as the second team in the Group, while Paraguay advanced as well as one of the best Third place teams.
For the third match running, Brazil started with a new goalkeeper (Zetti), while the rest of the squad remained intact.
Brazil would be without the suspended César Sampaio for their quarterfinal round as he was sent off in this match (87th minute).


Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
(June 24, 1993, Copa America, Brazil 3-Paraguay 0)

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 62, March 1994
(June 24, 1993, Copa America, Brazil 3-Paraguay 0)


The Group C contained Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico. The matches were played in Machala’s Estadio Nueve de Mayo and Guayaquil’s Estadio Capwell.
The Group kicked off on June 16th at Machala with Colombia taking on CONCACAF’s Mexico. Colombia would be victorious (2-1) through a late goal through Víctor Hugo Aristizábal. The opening goals were scored by two of the revelations of the Copa. Adolfo Valencia (35th minute) had given Colombia the lead, before Mexico’s Brazilian-born forward Luis Alberto Alves ‘Zague’ had tied the match (58th minute).
Colombia were missing Faustino Asprilla, who had been promised a vacation by Pacho Maturana.

Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3847, 1993
(June 16, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 2-Mexico 1)


On the following day (June 17th), Argentina faced Bolivia at Guayaquil.
Argentina’s Dario Franco (one of the heroes of the 1991 win) had his Tournament ended as early as the 32nd minute as he suffered a double shin fracture after a foul by Marco Sandy. He was replaced with Gustavo Zapata.
Conmebol would authorize the Argentineans to replace him in the squad with José Horacio Basualdo.
Argentina did win the match (1-0) through a Batistuta goal (53rd minute), but they hardly impressed.


Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3846, 1993
(June 17, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Bolivia 0)

Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2464, June 29, 1993
(June 17, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Bolivia 0)

Photo From:  94 Upper Deck World Cup
(June 17, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Bolivia 0)

Photo From: Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Argentina squad, June 17, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Bolivia 0)


Argentina Manager Alfio Basile was surprised by Bolivia, he felt they would have been defensive and disorganized but took instead they took the game to them and played in a collective manner (the credit would go to their new Spanish coach Xabier Azkargorta).
Argentina were also missing key midfielder Diego Simeone (retained by Sevilla in Spain) while Leonardo Rodríguez struggled.
Basile insisted that the upcoming World Cup qualifiers were more important and as a result he had to “economize” his players.
Three days later on June 20th at Bolivia and Colombia met at Machala, while Argentina took on Mexico at Guayaquil.
The Bolivia-Colombia match ended in a tie (1-1).


Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2464, June 29, 1993
(June 20, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Bolivia 1)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993 
(June 20, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Bolivia 1)


Photo From:  94 Upper Deck World Cup
(June 20, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Bolivia 1)

Photo From: (Magazine Source unknown) / Contribution From a blog viewer (special thanks to Jose Luis Carbonell)
(June 20, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Bolivia 1)


After their first match vs. Colombia, Mexico’s Luis Garcia was ordered back to Spain to play for Atletico Madrid in the League by their controversial Club President Jesus Gil. In contrast, Argentina had secured the release and presence of Diego Simeone by threatening Sevilla with Legal Action.
Basile made other modifications as well, with Franco out, Zapata started. Fabian Basualdo started in defense in place of Altamirano, while Acosta made way for Simeone.
Mexico would score early by David Patiño (14th minute) before Argentina Captain Oscar Ruggeri (28th minute) tied the match.
Argentina would once again play an indifferent match. Basile would blame the heat. He stated “I asked my players to play for a tie, once I saw they were physically exhausted and did not have the strength to launch attacks”.
He would regard Argentina’s performance as “worst match since I am in charge”.
It was reported that after the match, the Argentina players had gotten together to air out their differences.



Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3846, 1993
(June 20, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Mexico 1)

Photo From:  World Soccer, August 1993
(June 20, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Mexico 1)

Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2464, June 29, 1993
(June 20, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Mexico 1)

The final round of matches took place on June 23rd with Argentina vs. Colombia and Mexico taking on Bolivia.
Mexico’s matchup with Bolivia ended scoreless which enabled Mexico to advance to the next round as the second best third placed team.
Mexico’s Claudio Suarez would have to be replaced in the 65th minute after another injury suffered at the hands of Marco Sandy, who had injured Argentina’s Dario Franco just days before.
Basile would make some changes for their match vs. Colombia. Jorge Borelli and Altamirano were called up to replace Sergio Vazquez and Néstor Craviotto in defense. Upfront Claudio Garcia made way for Ramon Medina Bello.
Both teams had already qualified for the next round by the time they encountered.
The match ended in a (1-1) tie with both goals coming in the first five minutes. Diego Simeone gave Argentina the lead, while Rincon tied the match just minutes later.
Freddy Rincon would be sent off along with Argentina’s Redondo in the 49th minute.
Argentina once again struggled and Colombia were more dominant and perhaps deserved more from the match. Argentina’s one bright spot had been Simeone that the observing Italy Manager Arrigo Sacchi praised.

Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3847, 1993
(June 23, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Colombia 1)


The quarterfinals took place on June 26th and 27th. On June 26th at Quito, the hosts Ecuador took on Paraguay.
The hosts followed up their fine form from the first round to once again defeat an opponent (3-0) in convincing fashion.
Ecuador were already leading by two goals when Paraguay’s Estanislao Struway was sent off for elbowing Alex Aguinaga, early in the second half. However, he refused to leave the field for full five minutes, before being persuaded by Alfredo Asfura of Paraguayan Federation.
To make matters worse for Paraguay, their goalkeeper Chilavert flipped off the crowd. In addition, the Paraguay Manager and players refused to attend the mandatory post-match press conference (they were fined $5,000 as a result).
On the same day at Guayaquil, Colombia faced Uruguay. Colombia were missing the suspended Rincon but had Faustino Asprilla back in the squad and he would appear in the second half of the match. He had arrived by a private jet (paid from team’s sponsors) from his vacation spot (much to the dismay of Adolfo Valencia, who had threatened to leave the squad).
Colombia dominated the match but could not break through the Uruguay defense. Marcelo Saralegui gave Uruguay the lead (68th minute) against the run of play. Colombia managed to tie the match through Luis Perea just before the end. For the first time a Copa America match was to be decided on a penalty kick shoot-out. Colombia would win (5-3) in the shoot-out to move to the semifinals.


Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Hors Serie 16, May 1994
(June 26, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Uruguay 1)

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
(June 26, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Uruguay 1)


Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 59, December 1993
(June 26, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Uruguay 1)

Photo From:  94 Upper Deck World Cup
(June 26, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Uruguay 1)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Uruguay players, June 26, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Uruguay 1)

Photo From:  kicker_WM-Sonderheft_1994
(Colombia squad, June 26, 1993, Copa America, Colombia 1-Uruguay 1)


On the following day (June 27th), Brazil and Argentina were paired at Guayaquil.
For the first time in the Tournament, Brazil played with the same goalkeeper, Zetti. Luisinho started in midfield in place of the suspended Cesar Sampaio.
Basile started José Basualdo in place of the suspended Redondo, while Nestor Gorosito started ahead of the disappointing Leonardo Rodriguez.
Brazil dominated as Argentina continued to struggle as they had before. Brazil took the lead in the first half through Muller (37th minute). Leonardo Rodríguez tied the match (69th minute) heading in a corner after coming on as a substitute.
This match also went to penalty kicks with Argentina eventually edging Brazil (6-5). Despite advancing Argentina were far from convincing against an under-strength Brazilian side.
For Pele, Palhinha’s substitution was the reason for the loss. He said,  “When Palhinha came out, Brazil had no creators. Parreira made a mistake”.

Photo From:   Don Balon, Edicion Chile, April 30-May 6, 1996
(June 27, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3847, 1993
(June 27, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From:  94 Upper Deck World Cup
(June 27, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From:  Historia de la Copa America
(June 27, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Brazil 1)


Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Hors Serie 16, May 1994
(June 27, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
(June 27, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 61, February 1994
(June 27, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 63, April 1994
(June 27, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Brazil 1)

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Hors Serie 16, May 1994
(Argentina squad, June 27, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 1-Brazil 1)


The last quarterfinal was on the same day (June 27th) at Quito with Mexico taking on Peru.
After 10 minutes into the match, the Ecuador squad arrived at the stadium to sit in the stands; the local crowd got up to salute their heroes.
As far as the match, Mexico completely dominated Peru and were up (4-0) early in the second half. Peru pulled a goal back through a Del Solar penalty kick (65th minute). It was at this point that they exerted pressure and were rewarded with a second goal near the end.

Photo From:  Libero, Issue 11, 1993 (IFFHS)
(June 27, 1993, Copa America, Mexico 4-Peru 2)


The semifinals took place on June 30th and July 1st. On June 30th, Ecuador hosted Mexico at Quito under the rain.
Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen had delayed his trip to the United States to watch this match.
By now, the home crowd expected their team to win with ease as confidence and expectations had grown with each win.
Instead the hosts perhaps cracked under the pressure and came down to earth. The unfancied Mexicans dominated the first half and defeated the hosts (2-0). Hugo Sanchez (24th minute) with a header and Ramon Ramirez (55th minute) scored the goals to eliminate the hosts. In doing so, against all odds Mexico became the first CONCACAF nation to reach the Final of the Copa America.

Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2465, July 6, 1993
(June 30, 1993, Copa America, Ecuador 0-Mexico 2)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Hugo Sanchez, June 30, 1993, Copa America, Ecuador 0-Mexico 2)

Photo From: (Magazine Source unknown) / Contribution From a blog viewer
(Mexico squad, June 30, 1993, Copa America, Ecuador 0-Mexico 2)


On July 1st, Argentina faced Colombia at Guayaquil in the other Semifinal, just days after their first round encounter.
For Argentina José Basualdo made way for Fernando Redondo back from suspension. Alberto Acosta started upfront in place of Ramon Medina Bello.
Similarly, Colombia had Freddy Rincon back in the squad. Pacho Maturana started with Asprilla upfront instead of Adolfo Valencia.
Just like in their previous encounter, Colombia were dominant as Argentina barely had a shot on target and instead tried to contain the Colombians.
Argentina could not take advantage even after Colombia’s Luis Perea was sent off (65th minute) after a foul on Batistuta.
The match ended scoreless and had to go to a penalty kick shoot-out. Sergio Goycoechea once again displayed his customary penalty kick heroics as Argentina advanced to the Final after winning (6-5) in the shoot-out.
Afterwards, Argentina’s Diego Simeone was less than complimentary about the Colombians. He said, “Colombians were arrogant and just gave knocks. Only Valderrama played well, they should follow his example”.

Photo From:  Calcio 2000, Issue 21, July 1999
(July 1, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 0-Colombia 0)


Photo From:  Historia de la Copa America
(July 1, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 0-Colombia 0)


Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
(July 1, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 0-Colombia 0)


Photo From: Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(July 1, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 0-Colombia 0)

Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3848, 1993
(July 1, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 0-Colombia 0)


Argentina were now to meet another one of their First Round Group opponents (Mexico) in the Final.
On July 3rd, the third place match took place at Portoviejo and the more experienced Colombians defeated the hosts (1-0) through an Adolfo Valencia strike (84th minute).

Photo From:  Historia de la Copa America
(July 3, 1993, Copa America, Ecuador 0-Colombia 1)


On July 4th, Argentina and Mexico faced one another for the Final at Guayaquil.
For the first time in the Tournament Argentina presented an unchanged side.
As far as the match, Argentina without impressing came away victorious (2-1) to repeat as Copa America Champions (their 14th overall).
Gabriel Batistuta scored twice, taking advantage of the few openings he had to lead his side to victory. In the 63rd minute, he took advantage of a clearance to beat Campos one on one.
Mexico tied the match just minutes later (67th minute) through a spot kick by Benjamin Galindo (awarded after Goycoechea had fouled Zague in the box).
Batituta scored the winner in the 74th minute, after receiving a long throw-in and going around a defender to score.


Photo From:  Historia de la Copa America
(Team captains, July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(both squads, July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)


Photo From:  Libero, Issue 11, 1993 (IFFHS)
(July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)

Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Hors Serie 16, May 1994
(July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)


Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 59, December 1993
(July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)


Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
(July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)


Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3848, 1993
(July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)

Photo From:  France Football, Issue 2465, July 6, 1993
(July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)



Argentina’s experience had won out but their victory was not memorable. In 1991, they had gained admirers for their style and grace. In this edition, they were virtually outplayed in every match. They had been fortunate to win matches through Goycoechea’s penalty kick stopping talent, as well Batistuta’s opportunism in front of the goal.
Basile stated “in Chile (1991), we were much more better prepared than here”.
Some felt Argentina were looking ahead to the World Cup qualifiers and this may have affected their play, Basile himself had made that point.
In 1991, Leonardo Rodriguez had been one of Argentina’s breakout stars, but he was anonymous in this edition and was constantly substituted during matches before losing his starting spot in the knockout stages.
Before the Final, Argentina’s former Manager Cesar Luis Menotti had stated “Argentina is like Germany, always present when it matters and capable of winning by even playing badly” (his prediction bore out).
Incidentally, this remains Argentina’s last title of any kind to date.
The finalists Mexico were the surprise of the Tournament and were praised for their tactics and collective play.
Colombia, likewise, were perhaps the most technical team in the competition and with a little luck would have been triumphant. They had outplayed Argentina in both their matches and would soon oversee Argentina’s implosion in the World Cup qualifiers (…but that is another story).
Adolfo Valencia’s displays earned him a transfer to Bayern Munich.
Cesar Luis Menotti singled out Rincon as the best player of the Tournament.
As hosts, Ecuador gave a good account of themselves on the field, with the likes of Capurro and Aguianga standing out (both mentioned by Menotti among others). The work of Dusan Draskovic was praised as well and the success on the field was regarded as a stepping-stone to qualify for the World Cup in the near future. Though, many critics believed that Ecuador benefited from playing matches at high altitude.
Not much could have been expected from Brazil’s supporting cast, though Zetti in the net stood out. On the trip home, Zetti contracted Cholera by eating shrimp on the plane.
Cafu in defense earned praise as well, but Palhinha was considered the pick of the Brazilians.


Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)


Photo From:  Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
(Argentina squad, July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)


Photo From:  El Grafico Number 3848, 1993
(Oscar Ruggeri with the trophy, July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Oscar Ruggeri with the trophy, July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)

Photo From:  kicker_WM-Sonderheft_1994
(Mexico squad, July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)



Photo From: Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Argentina squad, July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)

Photo From: Calcio 2000, Issue 21, July 1999
(Argentina squad and Oscar Ruggeri, July 4, 1993, Copa America, Argentina 2-Mexico 1)


Pele and Tele Santana, among others, criticized Carlos Alberto Parreira’s decision to field a weakened team. Santana believed Parreira’s strategy of using three different squads foe three different competitions (US Cup, Copa America, World Cup qualifiers) “could only un-motivate players”.
For Pele, the Copa America would have been the “ideal preparation for the World Cup qualifiers”.
The integration of USA and Mexico had worked well and this tradition has continued to this day.
Needless to say, there were some criticisms concerning the Tournament.
The heat of 11:00 AM kickoff time to accommodate Television did not improve performances, coupled with playing matches at high altitude that virtually all teams complained about.
Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Goycoechea stated  “In this affair we are marionettes for Television”.
Most Nations did not send their strongest squads (save the Ecuadorian hosts) as they had their minds on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Argentina presented a strong squad but clearly were saving themselves for the World Cup qualifiers.
Stars such as Francescolli, Sosa, Zamorano, Asprilla, either did not show up or came while the Tournament was well underway. Ivan Zamorano arrived on a Monday and left on that Friday following Chile’s elimination.
Conmebol and the Federations could have demanded foreign clubs to release players per FIFA regulations, but in most cases chose not to. They either did not want to jeopardize the individual players chances with their employers, as well as not wanting to damage chances for future transfers to Europe (and much needed cash).

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen)


Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen was criticized for showing lukewarm interest to the sport but “converting” and exploiting the Tournament for political expediency.
Ticket prices in general were considered too high for the average Ecuadorian.
This may have been the reason why the stadium was only half full for the Final (though many also believed it was also because the hosts did not qualify for the Final).
The Brazilian Federation demanded the Copa America to be played every four years to avoid fixture congestion like this particular year, but Conmebol refused and confirmed that at least until the year 2000, the two year intervals would be the rule.
The next Copa America was set to take place in Uruguay in 1995.


Note:
1-All star team Libero, Issue 11, 1993 (IFFHS) source
Goalkeeper: Sergio Goycochea (Argentina)
Defenders: Cafu (Brazil), Luis Capurro (Ecuador), Oscar Ruggeri (Argentina),  Ramon Ramirez (Mexico)
Midfielders: Palhinha (Brazil), Alberto Gracia Aspe (Mexico), Carlos Valderrama (Colombia), Alex Aguinaga (Ecuador)
Strikers: Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina), Luis Alberto Alves ‘Zague’ (Mexico)

Reserve:
Jorge Campos (Mexico), Luis Herrera (Colombia), Claudio Suarez (Mexico), Fernando Redondo (Argentina), Jose Del Solar (Peru), Diego Simeone (Argentina), Freddy Rincon (Colombia), Luis Muller (Brazil)

2-Team of the Tournament as chosen by Journalists:

Goalkeeper: Sergio Goycochea (Argentina)
Defenders: Cafu (Brazil), Luis Capurro (Ecuador), Oscar Ruggeri (Argentina),  Percy Olivares (Peru)
Midfielders: Nixon Carcelen (Ecuador), Jose Del Solar (Peru), Freddy Rincon (Colombia), Alex Aguinaga (Ecuador)
Strikers: Adolfo Valencia (Colombia), Luis Muller (Brazil)

3-Players of the Tournament as chosen by ‘France Football’ Magazine:

Goalkeepers: Jorge Campos (Mexico), Sergio Goycochea (Argentina), Jacinto Espinoza (Ecuador), Miguel Miranda (Peru)

Defenders: Cafu, Valber (Brazil), Oscar Ruggeri (Argentina), Carlos Muñoz, Luis Capurro (Ecuador), Gabriel Mendoza (chile), Luis Perea (Colombia), Ramon Ramirez (Mexico)

Midfielders: Palhinha (Brazil), Jose Del Solar (Peru), Alex Aguinaga, Nixon Carcelen (Ecuador), Tab Ramos (USA), Luis Garcia Aspe (Mexico), Carlos Valderrama, Freddy Rincon (Colombia), Marco Antonio Etcheverry (Bolivia)

Strikers: Jose Dolguetta (Venezuela), Adolfo Valencia (Colombia), Luis Muller (Brazil), Eduardo Hurtado,  Ney Raúl Avilés (Ecuador), Roberto Cabanas (Paraguay), Richard Zambrano, Jose Luis Sierra (Chile) Luis Alberto Alves ‘Zague, Hugo Sánchez (Mexico)


4-The ‘Fair Play’ winners were Ecuador followed by Mexico.

5-A profit of £550,000 was reported.
This sum was to be divided:
30% hosts Ecuador
10% Conmebol
70% rest of the Nations
The winners were to receive a prize of £300,000, while the runner-ups were to receive £220,000. The losing semifinalists were to receive £69,000 each.
The rest of the Nations were to receive £28,000 each.



Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Political cartoon featuring Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Political cartoon featuring Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen)


Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Political cartoon featuring Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Political cartoon featuring Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Political cartoon featuring Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen)


Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Political cartoon featuring Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen)

Photo From:  Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 1993
(Political cartoon featuring Ecuador President Sixto Duran Ballen)


References:
El Grafico Number 3846, 1993
El Grafico Number 3847, 1993
El Grafico Number 3848, 1993
Soccer International, Volume 4, Issue 9, September 1993
El Grafico, Historia de la seleccion Argentina, 1992-1997
France Football, Issue 2463, June 22, 1993
France Football, Issue 2464, June 29, 1993
France Football, Issue 2465, July 6, 1993
Historia de la Copa America
Libero, Issue 11, 1993 (IFFHS)
Onze-Mondial, Hors Serie 16, May 1994
Onze-Mondial, Issue 55, August 1993
Seleccao Brasileira -90 Anos 1914-2004, Authors Antonio Carlos Napoleao, Roberto Assaf
World Soccer, August 1993
World Soccer, September 1993