Funes Mori into Copa America final with Albiceleste

22/06/2016  21 Comments  [Jump to last]
Omar Torres/AFP/Getty Images
Everton will have a representative in the final of the Copa America Centenario after Ramiro Funes Mori's Argentina thrashed the United States 4-0 in Houston.

The under-strength Americans were facing a Herculean task against the free-scoring Albiceleste and a fully-recovered Lionel Messi from the outset and they fell behind as early as the third minute when the world's best player was left in acres of space at a corner to dink the ball over for Ezequiel Levezzi to loop a header past Brad Guzan.

Messi himself then doubled the advantage when he swept an unstoppable, "postage stamp" free kick into the top corner that grazed the underside of the bar to make it 2-0 at half-time. In doing so, he surpassed Gabriel Bastituta as Argentina's leading all-time goalscorer with 55.

Two became three as many minutes into the second half when Gonzalo Higuain stole in behind the offside trap to collect a cross and convert at the second attempt after Guzan and parried his initial shot.

And Messi unselfishly served a second on a plate for the Napoli striker later in the half, cutting the ball across for Higuain to fire home and make it 4-0.

Largely untroubled by Jurgen Klinsmann's team who struggled to mount anything meaningful going forward for most of the game, Funes Mori looked comfortable in a back three alongside Nicolas Otemendi and Marcos Rojo and he almost got in on the scoring action himself at the other end but couldn't connect with a corner in the second half.

Argentina will face either Colombia or Chile in the final in New Jersey while the US will play the loser of the other semi-final in Arizona on Saturday in the third-place match.  


Reader Comments (21)

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 22/06/2016 at 05:46:56
Fair play to him. A massive feather in his cap if they win it.

On another note; what is it with the Yanks? They were shocking.

It seems every time they look like taking their game to another level, they produce a generation of second raters.

You would think a country with sport so ingrained into its DNA, would want to take the global game by the scruff of the neck.

I know a lot of them are passionate about the beautiful game, but it seems the overwhelming majority are never going to give a shit.

Brian Porter
2 Posted 22/06/2016 at 06:40:20
Well done Ramiro. Great to think Everton will be represented in the Copa America final. Let's hope he comes back with a winner's medal. It can only be good for our international profile to have him in our team. Not many clubs around the world can boast a Copa America winner as one of their own. Of course they still have to win it, but their attack is on fire, Messi in particular and they must be favourites to pick up the trophy. The Copa has certainly been more exciting to watch than the Euros and can't see England going much further.

I doubt any of the England squad would get anywhere near the Argentinian squad, so perhaps those who continue to belittle Funes Mori will give him a break and maybe realise that some of his less than perfect displays last season were to a great extent caused like those of all our defenders, by the hapless coaching methods and tactics of our joke of a former manager. Under a properly coached regime it's fair to say he has flourished at the Copa.

Paul Conway
3 Posted 22/06/2016 at 08:04:57
Even if they don't win the cup, Funes Mori has gained increible (Spanish for incredible!) experience.

I would not be surprised if he becomes our future Captain.

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 22/06/2016 at 10:43:46
That's the problem though Darren, because you can't get anymore global, than "THE WORLD SERIES"
Anthony Dwyer
6 Posted 22/06/2016 at 11:25:29
Great news, im expecting big things from Mori this season.
Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 22/06/2016 at 11:59:20
I bet you every defender on Everton's books, can't wait to get back to work this summer Anthony.

It's summer time, so I don't really think about the footy as much now, but it's when you realise, that this team, is going to go back to defending as a unit, then next season could bring real hope.

I like Mori, because he plays like he wants to win. He's done some stupid things, but haven't all our defenders in the last 12 months? But its hard not to, when it seems like it's been, every man for themselves at times.

This is why I'm warming to Koeman's appointment right now.

David Pearl
8 Posted 22/06/2016 at 12:12:21
Hmm so sell lukaku for 60m, and buy that new kid Messi for 150m. And still have 10 spare!
Andy Mack
9 Posted 22/06/2016 at 12:20:22
A footballing lesson to Team USA who were lucky not to have Guzan and Dempsey sent off. Argentina are really on fire and there was just no answer. Thankful it isn't a world cup year as I think they'd walk it. Lavezzi took a tumble over the advertising boards that our own Dickie Wright would have been proud. Hope Chile get through that would set up a cracking final.
Olalekan Taofik
10 Posted 22/06/2016 at 13:02:44
Good for Funes Mori and Good for Everton too. You always walk head-high telling people that your players are in a medal-winning team and we are proud of his achievement and others in Euro 2016.

Wishing Funes Mori the very best in the finals.

Join me in singing: "Everton, Everton, Everton. Everton is the best football club in the world......"

Sing it to the high heaven.

Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 22/06/2016 at 13:28:51
Tony(#4); The name "World Series" actually came about as that was the name of the newspaper that either sponsored or came up with the name for that Baseball competition.
Dennis Ng
12 Posted 22/06/2016 at 13:52:09
Andy 9, based on form, it will be Chile vs Argentina. Good for our lad Mori.

Brian 2, Tony 7, I like his attitude too. He seems like he owned that CB position in Argentina so far, so he will be in the WC 2 years from now barring injury and dramatic loss of form. Hopefully he will be a replicate his international form with us over the next few years.

Clarence Yurcan
13 Posted 22/06/2016 at 14:42:58
Darren #1, it will happen albeit slowly. Think about the fact we didn't even qualify for a World Cup between 1950-1990; getting to a Copa America semi is a good feat for us. The weird thing is, for decades, soccer has been a hugely popular youth sport here; I read somewhere it was the second most played youth sport in the US after American-style football. And this isn't a new development, growing up in the 80s I was a (very poor) goalkeeper and youth soccer was huge, many many kids played, and this was an era when we didn't even have a domestic league to watch. I guess the thing is many don't keep up with it into their teens. I think its something the USSF is trying to change.
Steve Johnson
14 Posted 22/06/2016 at 15:45:35
Our centre backs are Funes Mori and John Stones, surely Ronald will get a tune out of them. The future is bright, the future is blue.
Tony Abrahams
15 Posted 22/06/2016 at 15:55:37
Take your pick Alan J. I was going to call them insular, but how could they be, with such a dramatic name!
Julian Wait
16 Posted 22/06/2016 at 17:43:54
Argentina were a class apart and they're probably ruing the fact it's not a World Cup this year. They're almost unplayable.
Paul Andrews
17 Posted 22/06/2016 at 18:00:59
This lad will develop into a top class defender. After acclimatising to the pace and 100 mph of the Premier League he will be a better player.

All defenders who come to play in the Premier League from overseas take a while to settle in. I remember watching Desailly, one of the best defenders of all time, making his debut. If I recall, it was against Coventry (Dion Dublin?); he was all over the place, looked like he had never kicked a ball.

Mick Davies
18 Posted 22/06/2016 at 18:04:26
Giving Everton a higher profile in Argentina. May be able to persuade any new Messi to try Finch Farm and the great Everton FC

Kim Vivian
19 Posted 22/06/2016 at 21:44:49
Alan - that would probably be "World" series then.
Kim Vivian
20 Posted 23/06/2016 at 08:55:39
Go Mori. Go Argentina. Bring it home for EFC!
Simon Jones
21 Posted 23/06/2016 at 10:01:48
I'm pleased for the lad, just can't help thinking one of the European "Giants" will be in for him this summer.
Andy Mack
22 Posted 23/06/2016 at 17:13:55
Vamos Chile! - the final should be a cracking watch.

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