Tuesday 24 April 2018, 07:12

Brazil confirm their supremacy, Chile make history

  • Brazil and Chile booked berths at France 2019

  • Brazil secure place at 2020 Women's Olympic Football Tournament

  • La Roja will play at the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time

Brazil cruised to the Copa America Femenina Chile 2018 title and in the process qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ with plenty to spare.

Chile finished runners-up to advance to the women’s global finals for the first time in their history. Argentina, who relinquished second place in the final round of matches, still have a chance of making it to France 2019 through the intercontinental play-off, where they will take on the team finishing fourth in the CONCACAF qualifying competition.

Other qualification news

  • Brazil also booked their place at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020

  • Chile will take on the third-placed team in Africa in the intercontinental play-off for Tokyo 2020

  • Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay all qualified for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima

Brazil in a league of their own Brazil were fully expected to be a cut above the rest, and that is how it proved. Victorious in all seven of their matches, they scored 31 goals and conceded just two: one in the group phase and the other against the runners-up in the final four-team round.

No fewer than nine Brazilians got on the scoresheet, and such are their attacking riches that the legendary Marta was not among them, despite the fact she played in every game.

“Preparation was essential,” said coach Vadao. “Of the 22 players we had here, 11 took part in the three months of work we did in Brazil and another four were there for most of the time, while the players who are abroad joined us on the FIFA dates. Everything worked really well.”

Did you know?

  • This is the seventh time Brazil have won the competition, which has been held on eight occasions

  • The Brazilians averaged 4.42 goals per match, the highest average since the tournament adopted its current format in 2006

  • Bia Zaneratto was their top scorer with six goals

  • The 22 players Vadao took to Chile all saw action, with nine of them making their debuts in the tournament

  • Vadao has now won the competition twice in a row (2014 and 2018)

Chile shine on home soil Consistency was Chile’s trump card. Approaching every game in accordance with the situation, they won three of their matches, drew three and lost just one, against Brazil in the final phase.

The hosts’ most important win came in their final game, against Argentina, when they handled the pressure of playing in front of a packed stadium to ease to a comfortable win and jump above La Albiceleste and into second place. The Chileans were able to celebrate when Colombia’s defeat to Brazil ensured they would remain there.

“What really stands out is the consistency of the players,” said La Roja coach Jose Letelier. “They stuck at it and fulfilled their dream. There’s a great feeling among the players and in the squad."

Did you know?

  • This is the second time Chile have claimed the runners-up spot in the competition, the first having come at the inaugural tournament in 1991

  • Their leading scorer was Yanara Aedo with three goals

  • Twelve of La Roja’s 13 goals came from seven of their players (the other was an own-goal)

  • Only four members of their 22-woman squad were unused substitutes

The best of the rest For a side that had gone a long time without playing, Argentina exceeded expectations. After impressing in the group phase, where they finished second behind Brazil, they recorded a notable win over Colombia in the final phase of the competition.

Though defeats to the Brazilians and the hosts denied them direct qualification for France 2019, they did enough to suggest they have a genuine chance of winning their play-off and advancing to their third world finals. Their standout performers were Soledad Jaimes, Estefania Banini and Florencia Bonsegundo.

In contrast, Colombia’s performance left something to be desired. They went into the tournament as genuine contenders and lived up to that billing in the first phase. The Colombians came up short in the final four-team round, however, and their only consolation was the form of Catalina Usme, who was the competition’s leading markswoman with nine goals.

The stat 18,500 was the attendance for Chile’s meeting with Argentina. According to figures released by the Region of Coquimbo, approximately 200,000 people watched the tournament’s 26 matches, an average of nearly 7,700 per game.