With the Copa América Centenario reaching the knockout phase, it’s time to see how the kits fared against reality on the pitch. You might recall from our earlier post, that we predicted a quarter-final draw of:
Colombia v Brazil
Panama v Uruguay
Ecuador v Paraguay
Venezuela v Argentina
Reality dealt a hammer-blow to sartorial elegance! Only Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina lived up to the fashion expectations so we’ll look at how the actual last eight might fare if the kits decided their fates!
USA v Ecuador
Kit-wise, there was only one winner: Ecuador. If God had been a football fashionista, Ecuador would win the whole tournament with all the other nations hanging their heads in shame.
He isn’t though and Ecuador might struggle on the pitch to progress. Nonetheless, the yellow home shirt, with its dark navy sash will be remembered as one of the best kits witnessed in the finals of an international tournament.
The USA recovered from an opening day defeat to Colombia to win through to the quarter-finals with their patriotic take on the ghastly template Nike have issued for international sides.
As with England, the ‘home’ strip fails with its white body accompanied by blue sleeves. At least the US went for a darker colour scheme which makes the template more palatable! England, you’ll guess, didn’t fare so well in the Euro 2016 fashion stakes.
RESULT: Ecuador smash the USA out of the ground, 5 – 0
Argentina v Venezuela
The Albicelestes haven’t come up with a particularly original design, with the traditional sky blue and white stripes, accompanied by black shorts and white socks.
But when the kit is a football classic, why tamper with the template? Adidas didn’t feel the need to and their qualification of fashion grounds wasn’t really under threat.
It isn’t going to be straightforward though. Venezuela, for all their tribulations as a country, know a winning design when they see it. And the FVF, the Venezuelan FA, saw it with another Adidas design classic.
As if the striking burgundy with contrasting yellow trim wasn’t good enough, the nickname of the national XI is La Vinotinto. And frankly, any country which names its football team after a bottle of wine is good enough for us!
Result: It gets Messi but Venezuela nick it by the odd goal in three.
Peru v Colombia
Peru‘s appearance in the last eight was something of a surprise. Umbro dropped something with the modern twist on the classic white shirt with red sash.
This summer’s kit reminds us of old PE kits at school where the sides were separated by wearing a red or blue nylon sash. Uncomfortable over our t-shirts, we couldn’t wait to get rid of them. The away kit is their saving grace and may get wheeled out for this fixture.
Especially as Colombia are sporting a cracking update on the kits their footballing ancestors wore in the country’s first international matches.
White shirts, in a design which takes us back to more memorable times in our youth are more than matched by the stunning away kit. Blue with a broad yellow chest band above a thinner red one.
Adidas are smashing the opposition with their designs for this summer’s Copa America and this tie will be no different.
Result: Colombia 4 Peru 0; all over by half-time
Mexico v Chile
Surprise qualifiers both, the Mexicans went for a solid rendition of their traditional home green shirt. Not dull but equally not inspiring either. Green and white, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The away top is another solid entry into the replica market. The gold trim adds a little class to the straightforward black affair.
Is it enough though, to send them through?
Defending champions, Chile, have brought Nike some much-needed credibility on the international stage. Avoiding the kit horrors inflicted on many European nations and the USA, Chile opted for an all-red home kit with minimal blue flashes to break the colour.
Whilst it may not look ground-breaking, it’s certainly eye-catching in the flesh and, I think, enough to see them through to the last four
Result: Mexico pay the penalty for a lack of midfield adventure and lose the shoot-out.
If the kits held sway, the last four would be:
Ecuador v Venezuela
Colombia v Chile
Will the kits prevail? We shall see in the coming days!