Amarilla was chosen again for refereeing the Copa America final. And again he showed why he is considered a politically correct referee. If there were to be no problems, no controversial actions, stopping play for every little thing was the adequate thing to do, wasn't it? But apart from the referee's preventive calls, the game was not very violent and there weren't any big controversies.
When I heard that Amarilla was going to be the referee, I asked myself whether his nationality might have something to do with his election. Because Paraguayan referees have been selected to officiate the Copa America Final for the last 2 tournaments as well, and CONMEBOL President Nicolas Leoz is from Paraguay... Was this just a coincidence? Well, I don't think so. Paraguay tends to produce inept referees like Epifanio González or Ubaldo Aquino, who are bad, but docile. Amarilla isn't as bad a referee as that.
This final required a referee that would let the game flow, but Amarilla tended to stop it at every opportunity. From the beginning, he cut the actions very frequently in order to avoid problems. He didn't want to book until it became unavoidable: the first yellow was shown in the 36th minute and there had been hard, unpunished fouls before. Particulary by the Brazilians, who commited a lot of fouls and also intentionally delayed; Amarilla had to show 2 yellow cards for delaying: he was correct there, and then, he booked 5 more times. The referee didn't influence the result, but there were moments, especially in the 1st half, it seemed calls were going Brazil's way (The referee scorned his assistants' decisions twice: both times wrongly, and both in Brazil's favor). Linesman Walter Rial from Uruguay invalidated an Argentina goal in the 2nd half. He was OK: replays showed Heinze was off-side and he undoubtedly took part in the action.
What happened??? Argentina had been playing the best football in the tournament; Brazil arrived to the final after a gradually improving performance. Well... there is an explanation for the 3-0. Tactically, the Brazilians did an excellent job: they left the Argentinians without space, they were everywhere, and Riquelme, Messi or Tevez couldn't play. Apart from this, Brazil took advantage of Argentina's big defensive failings. Brazil didn't play the football we are used to seee from them: today they used some not-very Brazilian tricks (hitting the other team players, delaying the actions, simulating or protesting), but they were far superior to an unrecognizable Argentina. The Albiceleste had a much better tournament than the Penta, but in the Final, the all important game, Brazil was the best. And, once again, they are the Champions.