Copa America Group Stage Matches Conclude at MetLife, Attracts Over 100k Fans

This week, MetLife Stadium hosted two of the group stage matches for the 2024 Copa América and saw some of the sport’s biggest stars make the trip to East Rutherford. With the Argentina-Chile match drawing a nearly sold-out crowd of 81,106 and the Uruguay-Bolivia game attracting around 48,000 fans, the total attendance for the 2 games amounts to almost 130,000.

The most intense game is yet to come, however, as on July 9, MetLife Stadium will play host to a semifinal game for the Copa América. While the teams participating in the match are still to be determined, the stakes will be very high, as the winner advances to the Copa América finals.

Messi, Argentina Avenge 2016 Finals Loss Against Chile

The first Copa América match that MetLife Stadium hosted this year could not have featured a better matchup, as it saw Lionel Messi and Argentina take on Chile, the same team that defeated them in the Copa América finals back in 2016, which coincidentally also took place at MetLife Stadium.

The nearly sold-out crowd packed the stadiums to see Lionel Messi take the field in what may be his last time playing with Argentina in the Copa América, but they would have to wait until the game neared its end until there was any scoring. With both teams playing excellent defense, the game remained scoreless through the first half and beyond. It wasn’t until the 88th minute that Argentinian striker Lautaro Martinez scored off a rebound from a corner kick.

Chile had no response to the late goal and Argentina ended up leaving East Rutherford with a win, avenging their loss from 2016, to the delight of all of the Argentina fans in attendance. For Argentina, the victory sealed their spot in the knockout stages of the tournament, while Chile will now have to defeat Canada and get help from Argentina in defeating Peru to advance.

Uruguay Coasts to Win Over Bolivia in Impressive Fashion

Uruguay entered their match against Bolivia as heavy favorites to win the game and made it evident as to why that was when they opened up the scoring with their first goal in just the 8th minute from midfielder Facundo Pellistri. They did not stop there, however, as they continued the scoring with another goal in the 21st minute, this time from star player Darwin Nuñez, who has now scored in 7 consecutive games for the national team.

The rest of the half remained relatively quiet, with Uruguay threatening to score again but never finishing. The Uruguayan defense also did a stellar job at ensuring that Bolivia never posed a threat offensively.

The second half had a lackluster start compared to the first, with no goals in the first 30 minutes, but by the 77th minute, another goal from Uruguay extended their lead and all but won them the game.

A couple of minutes later, arguably the most electric moment of the night, especially for Uruguay fans took place, when Luis Suarez, a legend of the sport, was subbed into the game. Suarez has played for Uruguay for over a decade, being one of the country’s biggest stars during that stretch. In 2011, when Uruguay won the Copa América by a score of 3-0 over Paraguay, Luis Suarez was awarded ‘Man of the Match’, scoring a goal in the 11th minute.

With Suarez in, Uruguay continued to pressure Bolivia’s defense, tagging on 2 more goals in the 81st and 89th minute respectively. When the final whistle blew, Uruguay had officially won 5-0, their second victory of the tournament. Uruguay will now play the USA in its final group stages match, with a win or draw securing a spot for the team as Group C winners. Though, with their impressively high goal differential, even with a loss they may keep their spot at the top of the standings.