There is one bad team in CONMEBOL. It is Bolivia.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 15, 2016
Argentina barely had to show up to cruise into the quarterfinals; they scored three times in 32 minutes and that was that. Looking forward, though, the Argentines will feel a little like they only need to wake up for the final. Mexico, Chile, and Colombia are on the other side of the bracket, and Brazil didn’t even make the knockout round. La Albiceleste will not fear Ecuador, Venezuela, or the USA. All Argentine eyes are on June 26.
Because Panama got stomped 5-0 by Messi and Co on the second Group D matchday, they needed a win against Chile to progress into the quarterfinals. Chile, thanks to an absurdly late win against the aforementioned terrible Bolivia side, just had to see out a draw. And so, even when Panama scored just five minutes into the match, it was hard to see them going through; to do so meant that their porous defense would have to hold down Alexis Sanchez and company for the remaining 85 minutes.
They lasted ten. Eduardo Vargas scored twice in the first half, the first in the 15th minute, and Alexis scored twice in the second half, and that was the end of it. Chile had more than three-quarters of the possession. Panama had only three shots on goal, two of which went in thanks to the comedy stylings of Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. So, it was 1-0 Panama early, and in the second half they pulled it back to 3-2, but only the most paranoid of Chile fans would have been concerned about his team dropping two more goals and losing and missing out on the quarterfinals.
Chile’s reward: a road game against red-hot Mexico! Sometimes life isn’t fair.