Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Venezuela 1 - Colombia 0

Puerto Ordaz was the scene as Venezuela looked to continue a run stretching over sixteen years and four FIFA World Cup tournaments of not losing at home to Colombia.  Venezuela seemed determined to continue that streak on this day.  Salomon Rondon was a strong presence at left forward for Venezuela, who rarely deploy a two-forward setup as they did today.  Rondon unleashed a shot from a sharp angle that force Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina into a leaping save at his near post.  Luis Amaranto Perea had all sorts of problems with Rondon, and Venezuela winger Juan Arango (pictured, maroon) recognized the mismatch and played a curling ball along the ground to put Perea and Rondon in a foot race.  Rondon won and then shot from a short angle into the roof of the net over Ospina's hands, giving Venezuela a 1-0 lead before a quarter hour had elapsed. 

Venezuela were left scratching their heads as to way they did not have a second goal after a nice build up from Cesar Gonzalez led to a shot from the half circle by Tomas Rincon.  Ospina parried the ball away, but an onside rebound went to Fernando Aristiguieta.  However, the resulting shot was saved off the line by a sliding Perea, and Colombia were still alive in the match.  A long-distance Arango free kick was met by the foot of Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, but Vizcarrondo plays center back for a reason and his poor placement meant Ospina was there for the save again.  Miku Fedor come onto the pitch for Venezuela, and his one-two-one-two with Rondon gave Fedor a shot that Ospina held onto with his fingertips while prone on the floor.  Radamel Falcao received the ball off a wide cross from Carlos Bacca and had the goal at his mercy on the half-volley from nine yards, but Falcao's shot rocked the crossbar and went straight up and down into the hands of the goalkeeper, allowing the crowd in Venezuela to breathe a collective sigh of relief.  Venezuela win the match 1-0 and look to be in good position to qualify given that they have the easiest remaining schedule in CONMEBOL.

Salomon Rondon 13

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