Venezuela Qualifies for the Quarterfinals of the Copa America with Faith Intact

Venezuela beat Mexico
Venezuela beat Mexico (Credit: Getty Images)

Goalkeeper Rafael Romo dressed as a hero by saving a penalty in the final stretch of the match in Los Angeles preserving a historic victory for the Venezuelan team over Mexico 1-0 and securing their place in the quarterfinals of the Copa America 2024.

Down on the scoreboard after the penalty scored by Salomon Rondon at the beginning of the second half, the Mexican team had an unbeatable opportunity to tie in the 87th minute. But Orbelin Pineda’s shot was weak, allowing the Venezuelan goalkeeper to reach the ball and deflect it.

El Tri, which despite the fall is still alive after two games in Group B of the Copa América, had at least three scoring opportunities in the final minutes, including multiple point-blank shots blocked near the goal line by the defenders of the South American team. Venezuela beat Mexico for the first time in 13 duels.

Venezuela has 6 points, Ecuador and Mexico follow with 3 and Jamaica 0. It is worth mentioning that Ecuador has a better goal difference than El Tri, so the team led by Jaime Lozano will need to win on Sunday in Phoenix to move forward in the tournament.

A promising first half for the Tricolor was clouded at halftime when center-back Cesar Montes had to be taken off due to an elbow injury. The “Puppy” had taken over as captain in the forced absence of Edson Alvarez. Israel Reyes was the man who entered to accompany Johan Vásquez in the Mexican center.

La Vinotinto started with everything in the second half and only at 50 minutes Yeferson Soteldo entered the left after a pass from Rodon to shoot with great power. The left-foot shot was well-deflected by goalkeeper Julio González. Three minutes later, Rondon received outside the area, found space, and shot low with his left foot. The ball flirted with the base of the post.

The Vinotinto attack continued in the face of Mexican confusion. Jon Aramburu overflowed on the right and fell after contact with Julian Quinones, who was on defensive duty. Brazilian referee Raphael Claus signaled a penalty and Rondon opened the scoring with a low shot that hit the post at 56′.

After the goal, coach Jaime Lozano did not take long to make changes and decided to take out Santiago Gimenez, who again left blank and with a yellow card. Carlos Rodriguez also left and Alexis Vega and Guillermo “Memote” Martínez entered.

With the score at 1-0, Mexico pushed with the ball in their possession and Venezuela played on the counterattack in the second half. Luis Romo flew his shot into the area in the 77th minute. By then Cesar “Chino” Huerta had joined and so had Orbelin Pineda.

A diagonal in the area by Jorge Sanchez could not be reached by Luis Chávez, the new emerging captain of the Tri, who put his hands on his head at 79 ‘, as did the majority of the 72,773 spectators at SoFi Stadium.

Gimenez and Rondon were close in the first half

Coach Jaime Lozano made two changes from the match against Jamaica: Luis Romo to replace the injured Edson Alvarez, who will no longer return to the tournament, and Carlos Rodríguez in place of Orbelin Pineda as a midfielder. Once again, Santiago Gimenez was accompanied up front by Uriel Antuna and Julian Quinones on his side.

Mexico was close to the goal just 20 seconds in with a cross-volley shot by Antuna that went wide without Gimenez being able to reach the ball with his sweep. Then, at 19′, Gimenez received a long pass from Luis Chavez from the left side, leaving him alone in the area. His left-footed shot was blocked by goalkeeper Rafael Romo in a saving intervention.

Shots by Chavez and Arteaga that went wide showed in the first 25 minutes that El Tri was better off than Vinotinto. However, an uncertain Venezuelan squad was close to the goal in the 33rd minute when Salomon Rondon, after dropping a long pass, shot left-footed to shake the base of the post.

Fernando Batista, Venezuela coach, aligned with Romo; Ferraresi, Osorio, Aramburu, Navarro; Herrera, Savarino, Soteldo; Martínez, Rondon and Bello.

Read More: Lionel Messi’s Health Raises Alarm Bells in Argentina

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *