Amazing stories from Copa America (part 2)

3. Violent match between Argentina and Brazil in 1991

With five goals and five red cards, the match between Argentina and Brazil at the Copa America 1991 is a symbol of the confrontation between the top two South American football teams.

Dario Franco scored in the very first minute of the game for Argentina, but only four minutes later, Branco’s free-kick equalized 1-1 for Brazil. In the 31st minute of the match, Claudio Caniggia of Argentina) and Mazinho of Brazil were sent off after they rushed into each other like enemies.

Argentina remained the better team in the second half with two goals from Franco and Batistuta while Brazil only scored one more goal thanks to Joao Paulo. In the 61st minutes, Carlos Enrique (Argentina) and Marcio Roberto (Brazil) received two red cards for hardly arguing with each other. Before that, each team had a player who had to leave the pitch on the stretcher because of the phase-down of the ball.

Finally, Argentina won 3-2 on the score, while Brazil won 3-2 in the red cards. After the “bloody” victory, Argentina headed straight for the championship.

4. Argentina withdrew from Copa America 2001

The Copa America 2001 is the most complicated tournament in the history of this sports event. Initially, the tournament was expected to be attended by 10 South American teams and 2 Mexican and Canadian guests.

But right before the start, terrorist threats in the host country Colombia made CONMEBOL decide to cancel the tournament. Venezuela offered to host the tournament instead of Colombia, but in the last minute Colombia were given the green light to host the event. Venezuela asked to host instead, but in the end, Colombia was allowed by CONMEBOL to host the tournament.

The Argentine Football Federation did not accept Colombia as host because of security concerns. They confirmed that the Argentine players had received terrorist threats if they attended Copa. Eventually, Argentina withdrew despite Colombia’s pledge to strengthen special security for Marcelo Bielsa’s team.

After Argentina, Canada in turn dropped the tournament. Without the two teams, in urgent cases, CONMEBOL had to invite Honduras and Costa Rica to replace Argentina and Canada.

Due to the rush of time, Colombia sent an air force plane to transport Honduras team to the tournament. And finally, the Hunduras team landed in Colombia just a few hours before their match against Costa Rica started.