best Copa America matches

Greatest Copa America matches: A Flashback on the Memorable Clashes From the Competition

Copa America is one of the most popular sporting events in the world. Since its initial beginning as the “South American Football Championship”, it has delivered some of the greatest games in football. There is a long list of the greatest Copa America matches that have great goals, shocking results, dramatic penalty shootouts, individual brilliance, and many more memorable moments. Ahead of the beginning of Copa America 2024, let’s go down memory lane to have a look at the memorable clashes from the competition.

Top 10 Best Copa America Matches

1. Brazil vs Honduras (2001)

Honduras celebrate their victory (Credit: Getty)

The biggest upset in the history of Copa America also produced one of the best matches in the tournament. Almost two decades ago, Honduras handed Brazil a 0-2 defeat in 2001, which was later described as “a horrible night” by the then-Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. Honduras played in the competition as Argentina’s replacement after La Albiceleste refused to participate due to management and time issues. It was beyond their wildest dream to edge past Selecao, who were the tournament favorites. But, the minnows had the last laugh on that night.

Also Read: Copa America 2024 Group A: Teams, Matches, Key Players, Standings and Live Telecast Details

2. Argentina vs Brazil (2004)

Adriano celebrates his goal (Credit: Getty)

There have been plenty of finals between Brazil and Argentina in Copa America. But, the final game in 2004 earned a special place in the tournament’s history. Cesar Delgado almost took the game away from Brazil through an 87th-minute strike. But, not only did Brazil score the equalizer through Adriano’s extra-time goal, they also went on to become the crowned champions after winning the game on penalties. The fans and the commentators couldn’t believe what they saw in that final. This game will definitely be on the list of the top 10 best Copa America matches.

3. Brazil vs Argentina (2007)

Action during the match (Credit: Getty)

A game between Brazil and Argentina means there will be plenty of unforgettable moments and individual brilliance. Whenever they go against each other, a nail-biting contest happens to be on the cards. But, the 2007 Copa America final was exactly the opposite one. Brazil, without some of their prominent players such as Kaka, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo, put three goals past a hapless Argentinian side, who were left to lick their wounds after the final whistle. Later, La Seleccion fans staged a massive protest in Buenos Aires for this one-sided defeat. 

4. Chile vs Mexico (2016)

Chilean players celebrate a goal (Credit: Getty)

Some football games are remembered for players, some for individual performances, and some for too many goals. The quarter-final match between Chile and Mexico turned out to be a goal-galore in 2016  and made it to the list of greatest Copa America matches. This game was pronounced to be a high-octane clash, given Mexico’s 22-game unbeaten run and Chile’s undying efforts in title defense. But, proving all predictions wrong, “La Roja”  rout the Mexicans 7-0, off the back of Eduardo Vargas’ four goals. 

5. Bolivia vs Brazil (1963)

Action during match (Credit: Twitter)

The 1963 South American Championship is still remembered as one of the most exciting football tournaments. Bolivia, hosting the competition for the first time in their history, defeated the likes of Brazil and Argentina, who were the FIFA World Cup and Latina American champions respectively, to lift the trophy on home soil. They were unbeaten throughout the tournament and popped Selecao to the silverware in a nine-goal thriller in the final showdown. The way Bolivia performed in the title decider against the global champions and the tournament favorites, was commendable. This final is one of the top 10 best matches in Copa America history.

6. Colombia vs Argentina (1999)

Action during the Copa match (Credit: Getty)

Colombia pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the history of Copa America when they won 3-0 over Argentina in a group stage game in 1999. After looking at the score line you might think that La Albiceleste played horribly, resulting in zero goals for their side. But, the story is totally different. Argentine striker Martin Palermo became a villain overnight to the fans after he missed three consecutive penalties in this game. Can you believe it? Yes, it happened. The game witnessed five penalties in total. One of the greatest Copa America matches stole the limelight for all the wrong reasons. But, history still remembers. 

7. Mexico vs Brazil (2007)

Mexican players celebrate a goal (Credit: Getty)

Brazil have always been one of the tournament favorites in Copa America. But, they also couldn’t think of what was awaiting them in their opening game of the competition in 2007. Having pitted against Mexico, Brazil thought to prove themselves as one of the elite teams by winning the opening game after a seemingly underperforming 2006 World Cup campaign. Instead, the Mexicans, who were ranked 20th at that time globally, clinched a miraculous 2-0 victory over Selecao. 

8. Peru vs Argentina (1997)

Action during match (Credit: Getty)

The Peru vs Argentina quarter-final clash is fondly remembered by the Copa America fans due to its unexpected and shocking result. Peru, who were in the knockouts for the second time, clinched a 2-1 win over one of the tournament favorites, Argentina in fashion. La Albiceleste tried hard to find an equalizer after Marcelo Gallardo pulled one back for them. But, all their efforts were neutralized by an organized Peru defense. This was one of the biggest upsets in the tournament in 1997. It also found a place on the list of greatest Copa America matches.

9. Brazil vs Peru (2016)

Action during the Brazil vs Peru match (Credit: Getty)

One of the biggest shocks in the history of Copa America also produced one of the greatest game of football when Brazil faced-off against Peru in 2016. A star-studded Brazilian side crashed out of the tournament at the group stage despite taking on teams such as Haiti, Ecuador and Peru. After demolishing Haiti 7-0 in their second game, Brazil fell to a narrow 0-1 loss against Peru in a controversial fashion. Raul Ruidiaz scored the only goal of the game which seemed to have been scored by using his hand. Brazil’s group stage exit for the first time in 29 years and this controversial goal attracted the headlines.

10. USA vs Argentina (1995)

USA soccer team celebrates after beating Argentina (Credit: Getty)

A 3-0 victory over Argentina in the 1995 Copa America is still a landmark result in the USA’s football history. La Albiceleste were the defending champions and were expected to decimate their American rivals. However, goals from Alexis Lalas, Frank Klopas, and Eric Wynalda handed them an embarrassing defeat in the last game of the group stage. This game is one of the fans’ favorites among the top 10 Copa America matches.

Also Read: Copa America top goalscorers of all time (Top 10)