The draw for the 2020 Copa America was made on Wednesday, and for Colombia’s Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz preparation continues to win the trophy for just the second time in the country’s history.
The draw split the 12 participating nations into two groups of six, with Colombia drawn in Group B [northern zone] alongside defending champions Brazil, as well as Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and guests Qatar. Fellow outside participants Australia were drawn in Group A [southern zone] with Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay.
Colombia won the tournament as the host nation in 2001, which remains their only triumph in the competition’s 103-year history. Queiroz was hired in February, having left his post with the Iran national team after taking the Middle Eastern country to successive World Cups, with the aim of competing in back-to-back Copas in 2019 and 2020.
Queiroz’s men reached the quarter finals of the 2019 Copa America this summer, losing to Chile on penalties. Next year sees Colombia joint hosts of the tournament alongside Argentina, meaning they play all their group games at home with matches spread across Bogota, Cali, Medellin and Barranquilla, beginning with Ecuador on June 13th in Barranquilla.
“The goal is to win every game and be in the final sprint, which is to play in the final and win a competition Colombia hasn’t won for many years,” Queiroz told a press conference after the draw was announced. “Everyone has to know that winning the Copa America is to make the impossible possible.
“The most important thing now is to focus on doing the preparation work which will make a difference.”
The first phase of the competition will involve four of the six teams from each group progress to the quarter finals. The final is due to be played at the Estadio Metropolitano on 12th July.
By Sean Gillen