HBS’ Club Latinoamericano launched this year its first Copa America, an extremely popular soccer event in Latin America, in which teams from different countries play each other in a direct elimination soccer tournament. Teams from Chile/Peru, Argentina, Brazil/El Salvador, Colombia/Venezuela, Mexico, Mexico/Nicaragua, Europe and other parts of the world joined in a highly energetic tournament with great matches.
Argentina and Europe met face-to-face in the final game of the Copa America last Wednesday. Filled with excitement and national pride, their fans crowded Shad Hall hoping to help their team take the coveted trophy home.
Having played their respective semi-final games only minutes earlier, both teams showed signs of fatigue early in the game, confirming suspicion that many EC players hadn’t set foot in Shad since the TOM exercise last year. Both sides, however, gave their best, including some touching examples. Notably, Jose Dias de Barros (OE) for Europe and Luis Pescarmona (OF) for Argentina showed how an acceptable active life is possible after age 30.
Europe gained an early advantage and led the game 3-1 in the first 10 minutes. However, Argentina pushed hard for a comeback and went into half time with an even 3-3.
Francesco Russo (OA) was pivotal in helping Europe reach victory. With strong personal links to both Argentina and Italy, the Pisa-born star spent much of the first half pondering which of the two sides deserved his services. Apparently seeing the light at half time, this Leonardo of soccer’s Rennaisance took Europe to final victory (6-3) in spite of repeated cheating and foul play (“hand of God” included) by Argentina’s legend Rafael Di Giorno (OJ).