We look back over the biggest Copa America wins in history, since the competition began in 1916.

Biggest Wins in Copa America History

Argentina 12-0 Ecuador – 22 January 1942
Argentina 11-0 Venezuela – 10 August 1975
Brazil 10-1 Bolivia – 10 April 1949
Uruguay 9-0 Bolivia – 6 November 1927
Brazil 9-0 Colombia – 24 March 1957

Argentina 12-0 Ecuador – 22 January 1942

Argentina arrived for the tournament in 1942, held in Uruguay and then known at the South American Championship, as the reigning champions. The 12-0 victory, which to this day remains the biggest win in Copa America history, was just the 10th game played by Ecuador in the tournament. Their previous nine had seen them concede 46 times at an average of 5.1 per game, so the signs were ominous.

Overall, in the 1942 tournament, Ecuador conceded 31 goals – the most by a team in a single edition of the competition. In the game before this 12-0 demolition, they set another tournament record by conceding seven goals before half-time in a defeat to Uruguay. Luckily for them, the Uruguayans seemingly took pity on them and didn’t add any more goals in the second half. They weren’t so lucky against Argentina.

After opening the scoring two minutes in, Argentina’s José Manuel Moreno scored four times in the first 32 minutes of the win. Both his hat-trick (22 minutes) and his four-goal haul (32 minutes) are the quickest from kick-off in Copa America history.

Herminio Masantonio followed in the footsteps of his teammate, scoring four goals in the second half. This game is the only one in the history of the Copa America in which two players both scored four goals. Moreno added a fifth a minute from full-time to put himself into the record books yet again, as one of only four players to score five goals in a single Copa America match.

Argentina 11-0 Venezuela – 10 August 1975

The 1975 edition of the tournament was the first to be played under the Copa America name and the first to be played in more than one country. Another first was that all 10 CONMEBOL countries participated, with defending champions Uruguay receiving a bye into the semi-finals and the other nine nations starting in the group stage.

The format consisted of three groups of three teams each, playing home and away, with only the first place of each advancing to the semis to join Uruguay.

Argentina and Venezuela had already met in the 1975 edition before this game, with La Albiceleste winning 5-1 in Caracas a week earlier. By half-time in the second game in Rosario, they’d added four more, racing into a 4-0 lead thanks to goals from Daniel Killer (2), Américo Gallego, and Osvaldo Ardiles.

Seven goals for Argentina followed after the half-time break, with Killer adding one more to complete his hat-trick, while Mario Kempes and Mario Zanabria both scored twice before late goals via Ramón Bóveda and Leopoldo Luque completed the scoring. The seven individual goalscorers for Argentina in this match broke a Copa America record that still stands to this day.

The two wins against Venezuela weren’t enough for Argentina. They lost both games against Brazil and went out in the first round of the 1975 edition.

Brazil 10-1 Bolivia – 10 April 1949

The 1949 edition of Copa America preceded the first FIFA World Cup played in Brazil by a year, and the host nation thrashed almost every opponent that they faced. The Brazilians scored at least five goals in six of the eight games they played that year.

Their final tally of 46 goals is still the most any nation have scored in a single edition of the Copa America. Astonishingly, it’s 18 ahead of the next highest: Argentina in 1948 (28). Overall, the goals scored by Brazil in 1949 make up more than 10% of their total Copa America goals before the 2024 edition begins.

This 10-1 victory over Bolivia occurred just seven days after they’d enjoyed a 9-1 win against Ecuador. The Brazil goals versus Bolivia came via Nininho (3), Zizinho (2), Cláudio Pinho (2), Simão (2), and Jair. Until this day it’s one of just two occasions where four players have scored more than once in the same Copa America game.

Unlike the other teams to score at least 10 goals in a single Copa America match, Brazil went on to win the trophy that year, doing so in style by defeating Paraguay 7-0 in the final – the biggest margin of victory in a Copa America final of all time.

Uruguay 9-0 Bolivia – 6 November 1927

Uruguay arrived at the 1927 edition of Copa America as both the reigning champions and winners of more than half of the previous editions (6/10). Bolivia were the perfect opponent for them to build momentum for another title. They’d lost their first game in 1927 to Argentina by a 7-1 scoreline and in the previous edition, they’d conceded at least five goals in all four games they played.

It took only 18 minutes for Uruguay to open the scoring through Pedro Petrone, before adding a second just a minute later via Roberto Figueroa. After leading 3-0 at half-time, Uruguay scored twice as many in the second half. Both Figueroa and Petrone ended with a hat-trick in this game – one of two occasions where this happened in the tournament’s history, alongside the first game of this list (Argentina 12-0 Ecuador).

The tournament didn’t end well for Uruguay. They lost 3-2 to Argentina after this match, who went on to beat Peru and win the trophy for a third time.

Brazil 9-0 Colombia – 24 March 1957

Brazil started well at the 1957 edition of the Copa America, defeating Chile 4-2 in the opening round and securing a 7-1 win over Ecuador before this historic result versus Colombia.

The Brazilians opened the scoring in the 27th minute, but then an astonishing spell saw Evaristo de Macedo score a hat-trick between the 41st and 45th minute, in the shortest interval needed for a player to score three goals in a game in the history of the Copa America.

Didi scored a brace in the second half before Evaristo and Zizinho increased the Brazilian lead. Evaristo added another to complete the scoring and end the game with five goals – one of just four occasions that a player has scored five goals in a Copa America game.

Brazil couldn’t keep up their form, however. They lost to Uruguay in the next game before another defeat against Argentina in the final round handed the title to their long-time rivals.

Overall, the 1957 Copa America saw 101 goals scored across 21 matches, with the goals-per-game average of 4.81 the highest of any edition with 15+ games. This was the last Copa America to reach 100 goals, too.

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