1919 South American Championship

The 1919 South American Championship of Nations was the third continental championship for South American national football teams. It was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 11 to 29 May 1919.

1919 South American Championship of Nations
Copa america poster1919.jpg
Tournament details
Host countryBrazil
Dates11–29 May
Teams4 (from 1 confederation)
Venue(s)1 (in 1 host city)
Final positions
Champions Brazil (1st title)
Runners-up Uruguay
Third place Argentina
Fourth place Chile
Tournament statistics
Matches played7
Goals scored27 (3.86 per match)
Top scorer(s)Brazil Arthur Friedenreich
Brazil Neco
(4 goals each)
The Brazilian team that won its first championship.

The participating countries were Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay as the defending champion.

After finishing tied in the group standings on points, host Brazil beat Uruguay in the playoff match to win their first title.

The playoff was the longest match in the competition's history, and under current rules, will remain so indefinitely: with the scores tied 0-0 after 90 minutes had expired, both captains and the referee agreed to play an extra time period of two 30 minute periods, meaning the playoff match lasted 150 minutes.[1]


There was no qualifying for the tournament. The participating countries were Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. All teams competed between each other in a single group. Two points were awarded for a win, one for a draw and zero for a defeat. If there was a tie of points at the top of the standings, a playoff match would be held to determine the champion.


For a complete list of participating squads see: 1919 South American Championship squads


Rio de Janeiro
Estádio das Laranjeiras
Capacity: 20,000

Final roundEdit

Each team played one match against each of the other teams. Two points were awarded for a win, one point for a draw and zero points for a defeat.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
  Brazil 3 2 1 0 11 3 +8 5
  Uruguay 3 2 1 0 7 4 +3 5
  Argentina 3 1 0 2 7 7 0 2
  Chile 3 0 0 3 1 12 −11 0
Brazil  6–0  Chile
Friedenreich   19', 38', 76'
Neco   21', 83'
Haroldo   79'

Argentina  2–3  Uruguay
Izaguirre   34'
Varela   79' (o.g.)
C. Scarone   19'
H. Scarone   23'
Gradín   85'

Uruguay  2–0  Chile
C. Scarone   31'
J. Pérez   43'
Referee: Adilton Ponteado (Brazil)

Brazil  3–1  Argentina
Héitor   22'
Amílcar   57'
Millón   77'
Izaguirre   65'

Argentina  4–1  Chile
Clarcke   10', 23', 62'
Izaguirre   13'
France   33'
Referee: Joaquim de Castro (Brazil)

Uruguay  2–2  Brazil
Gradín   13'
C. Scarone   17'
Neco   29', 63'


Brazil  1–0 (a.e.t.)  Uruguay
Friedenreich   122'


 1919 South American Championship Champions 
First title

Goal scorersEdit

Arthur Friedenreich (left) and Neco, top scorers

4 goals

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

Own goals


The day after the final, Uruguayan goalkeeper Roberto Chery died of strangulated hernia in a hospital of Río de Janeiro. He had injured after he made a wrong move to stop an attack, during the match v Chile. Because of substitutions were not allowed by then, Chery had to play severely injured the rest of the match.[3]

Brazil and Uruguay teams had scheduled a friendly match ("Copa Rio Branco") for 19 June 1919. Due to the Uruguayan side declined to participate because of Chery's tragic death, Argentina offered to replace the Uruguayan side. After the Brazilian Federation accepted, the match (now named "Copa Roberto Chery" to honor the goalkeeper) was finally played. Argentina entered to the field wearing Uruguay's traditional light-blue jersey while Brazil wore the Peñarol jersey.[4]


  1. ^ La subyugante historia de la Copa América
  2. ^ Oliver, Guy (1992). The Guinness Record of World Soccer. Guinness publishing. p. 551. ISBN 0-85112-954-4.
  3. ^ Una historia trágica en la Copa América on Prensa Libre, 13 June 2016
  4. ^ La más hermosa página de fraternidad, El Gráfico