Juventus players tasted defeat in this summer’s international competitions for just the second and third time last night as both Italy – featuring Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli, Stefano Sturaro and Simone Zaza – and Juan Cuadrado’s Colombia succumbed to Republic of Ireland and Chile respectively.
While yesterday’s EURO 2016 1-0 loss in Lille meant little in the big picture for Antonio Conte’s Azzurri who had already guaranteed their place in the next round where they will face Spain, Cuadrado and co’s 2-0 reverse spelt the end of their Copa America journey at the semi-final stage.
Beginning with the action in France, the 2012 finalists, lining up with four Bianconeri with Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini rested, were pipped at the post by a competitive Irish side thanks to midfielder Robbie Brady’s 85th-minute header.
While Zaza would flash a superb volley over the crossbar and Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne would whip a shot against the post in the second half, Martin O’Neill’s men were good value for their first win of the tournament, a result that sets up a knockout tie with hosts France in Lyon on Sunday.
A few hours later in Chicago, goals from Charles Aranguiz and Jose Fuenzalida will see Chile face Argentina in the Copa America final Argentina after a rain-delayed encounter at Soldier Field.
Although playing for the full 90 minutes, Juve’s Cuadrado struggled to make a mark on the game.
With the European Championship group stages now completed, the last 16 lineup in full is as follows: