Sports Burst – Messi’s Last Stand

Reuters

By Tim Stannard

 

Brazil suffer boos after Venezuela shutout as Leo Messi’s Argentina prepare to fight for Copa America future

 

For fans and players of the two biggest beasts at Copa America 2019, the tournament is turning out to be a particularly sucky one. As to be expected. 

After all, it was Leo Messi himself who suggest that Argentina supporters take the lowest possible expectations into the tournament and then prepare to have them missed. 

Last night, Brazil enjoyed another evening of being booed by home fans after the referee scratched off one goal after one viewing and a further two with the help of VAR - with no complaints from Coach Tite - and a delightful evening in Bahia ended up with a goalless draw against Venezuela. 

With just four points in the bag, Brazil will need to get at something against a feisty Peru in the group's final round to avoid an unfortunate early exit from a tournament they are hosting. 

Still. Matters could be worse. Brazil could be Argentina. 

Leo Messi has a brand-new opportunity to endure abject footballing misery on Wednesday night. After crashing out 2-0 against Colombia in the group's opening game - and to set up yet another 'sad face Messi' meme - the Albiceleste need a victory against Paraguay to avoid having to beat the party-crashers of Qatar in the final round and suffer the worst misery-fest for Messi since Kevin-Prince Boateng cheerfully introduced himself as Barca's latest signing.

The Sports Burst live show with Jeremy St. Louis and Eric Krakauer will be taking all of this in on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook show at 12PM ET / 9AM PT. 

 

USMNT Boyd by new recruit who finds Key-wi to victory in Gold Cup win

 

The USMNT found a cunning way to score some Gold Cup goals on Wednesday night. Find a striker from another country, put 'em in a US jersey and let him at it.

The 4-0 in the tournament opener against Guyana was fueled by a footballer who has also turned out for New Zealand. Tyler Boyd holds dual nationality with the Kiwis but was granted permission by FIFA to switch sides to the US.

 

In just the striker's second match for USMNT the footballer popped up with a brace. "Just a dream come true," announced a footballer who had been playing in the Turkish Super Lig for Ankaragucu last season. 

Wednesday's Gold Cup matches are led by an old-skool NAFTA clash with Mexico taking on Canada, preceded by Cuba against Martinique. Both are being held in a double-header in Denver, Colorado. 

The Women's World Cup trundles along on Wednesday as well with the finale of Group D with Japan, Argentina and Scotland looking to join England in the knockout stages.  

Let's not forget that the one international competition to rule us all kicks off on Friday as the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 gets underway. Join Jeremy St. Louis and Gary Bailey at 3PM ET / 12PM PT ahead of the tournament's opener as host nation Egypt spearheaded by Mohamed Salah takes on Zimbabwe. 

Mendy presented by Real Madrid as Barca face virtual reality

Another day, another presentation for Real Madrid. This time around it is fullback Ferland Mendy who is being trooped around the pitch with the French 24-year-old joining an influx of fresh faces at the Santiago Bernabeu this season.

While Real Madrid is bringing in real life footballers, Barcelona continues to be living in the virtual world in regards to its roster next season. Philippe Coutinho’s future at Barcelona remains in the air and it appears to be inextricably linked to that of Neymar. PSG seem to have had enough of the Brazilian’s antics and according to Barcelona-based ‘Sport’ the Camp Nou locker room seem happy to let Neymar back into the fold. That of course, leaves the general question of whither Antoine Griezmann.

Switching back to the topic of Neymar and wherever the footballer ends up in the new season, it has been confirmed that Brazilian will miss the first three matches of the Champions League campaign. A ban against the player for an anti-official Instagram tirade after his team’s elimination by Manchester United has been upheld by UEFA after an appeal from PSG was rejected.

Post to Post: The Soccer Show will attempt to make sense of all this and look back / ahead /upwards / downwards at the day’s soccer action. The beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page is the place to be at 5:30PM ET / 2:30PM PT.