Argentina face holders Uruguay in Copa America

  • Reuters, Santiago, Chile
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2014 09:37 IST

World Cup runners-up Argentina face holders Uruguay, who knocked them out of their home tournament four years ago, and Brazil will meet Colombia in a World Cup rematch in the group phase at the 2015 Copa America.

Hosts Chile, looking to win the world's oldest active international tournament for the first time, were handed an easier draw in the Chilean Pacific coast resort of Vina del Mar on Monday.

Lionel Messi's Argentina, top seeds in Group B in which they will also meet Paraguay and Jamaica, will be looking to avenge their upset defeat by Uruguay on penalties in the quarter-finals at the 2011 event they staged.

Brazil, with the gifted Neymar as captain, will be looking to recover from their disappointing World Cup as hosts this year under returned 2010 World Cup coach Dunga. They also face Peru and Venezuela in Group C.

The talented Chile side spearheaded by Alexis Sanchez, who also face Ecuador and Bolivia in Group A, will fancy their chances of ending their wait for a first crown.

"It's hard to see a (title) candidate today... Let's hope that in this Copa America recent history, which has turned out to be complicated for the host team, is reversed," Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli told reporters.

Uruguay, with a record 15 titles, will miss striker Luis Suarez at the June 11-July 4 tournament while he continues to serve his nine-match Fifa ban from competitive internationals for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

Suarez contributed four goals including one in the 3-0 win over Paraguay in the 2011 final in Buenos Aires as Uruguay won the tournament that also saw 2004 and 2007 champions Brazil knocked out in the quarter-finals.

Chile and Colombia hope to continue their run of good form, which was evident at the World Cup finals in Brazil, with the hosts narrowly beating both in successive knockout rounds.

Falcao return

Colombia, led by playmaker and top scorer James Rodriguez, reached the quarter-finals in Brazil and will be looking to win the Copa for the second time strengthened by the return from injury of striker Radamel Falcao.

"The hopes of the World Cup remain and to share a group with them (Brazil) will be important for all it means," Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said. "This is an important time in South American football."

The tournament has since the early 1990s been expanded from the 10 nations of the South American Conmebol confederation to 12 with guest teams usually from North and Central America and the Caribbean's Concacaf region.

Mexico have been regular participants and twice reached the final but Jamaica are taking part for the first time.

Chile will begin the tournament against Ecuador at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago on June 11.

Argentina's clash with Uruguay will be in La Serena on June 16 and Brazil's eagerly anticipated meeting with Colombia in the capital on June 17.

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