Mon, Jun 24, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Venezuela advance with 3-1 victory over Bolivia


Venezuela’s Josef Martinez, left, and Adrian Jusino of Bolivia gesture during their Copa America match at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

A brace by Darwin Machis and a goal by Josef Martinez helped Venezuela beat Bolivia 3-1 and advance to the Copa America quarter-finals on Saturday.

Venezuela, who have never won the Copa America or qualified for a FIFA World Cup, finished Group A second to Brazil.

Peru finished third after being hammered 5-0 by the Copa America hosts and had to wait for other results to know whether they would advances as one of the best third-placed teams.

After two goalless draws with Peru and Brazil, Venezuela knew they had to bring their most attacking formation against Bolivia at the Mineirao Stadium to advance.

Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel said the team showed solidity by imposing their game on Bolivia.

“We had to work more in our defense than expected; it was a team that was hurt. And they did very well,” Dudamel said. “We controlled [the match] tactically and we responded to match situations; that gives us the tranquility of knowing that we have a team and that everyone knows they are important.”

Leonel Justiniano scored Bolivia’s goal.

Bolivia coach Eduardo Villegas was philosophical about his team’s performance in their third loss at the tournament.

“We learned a lot. We came with a group of players of intermediary age and young men that earned some experience, saw what it is like to be in an international competition,” he said.

Dudamel said that the quarter-final clash, no matter against whom, would inspire an even better Venezuela.

“We have shown ourselves as a more complete team each day in every aspect,” he said. “We have to keep this sequence. We will not do anything differently.”

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