With an impeccable record, with six wins in as many matches and without conceding a single goal, Colombia clinched the Copa América for the very first time. After 85 years, the competition crowned its seventh champion – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay were the previous winners.
Hosting the Copa América for the first time, the Colombians lived up to the expectations of their fanatical supporters, who packed the Armenia, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Manizales, Medellín and Pereira stadiums. The squad managed by Francisco Maturana, the same coach that led the country to the World Cup Finals, in 1990 and 1994, also boasted the top scorer of the competition, striker Víctor Aristizábal, with six goals, and received the Fair Play trophy. The only absentee from the tournament was Argentina, who preferred not to send their national team due to social turmoil in Colombia weeks before the start of the Cup. Brazil, already with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at the helm, were a huge disappointment, being eliminated from the tournament by surprise-package Honduras, in the quarterfinals. On the other hand, Mexico proved to be a major force in the tournament once again, reaching the finals for the second time and having to settle for second place.
Japan was the only country from outside the American continent to be invited to participate in Copa América. The Japanese team played in the 1999 tournament, hosted by Paraguay, and will play again in 2011, in Argentina.