Win for Salomon Rondon sets up possibility of quarter-final v Miguel Almiron at iconic Maracana
Salomon Rondon and Venezuela went into last night’s match, knowing a win would guarantee a Copa America quarter-final place.
After only two minutes Darwin Machis put them a goal up against Bolivia and on 55 minutes added a second.
Justinaino gave them a scare when pulling it back to 2-1 with eight minutes remaining but substitute Josef Martinez made sure in the 87th minute, a final scoreline of Venezuela 3 Bolivia 1.
A crushing 5-0 win over Peru meant Brazil ended up group winners on seven points, Venezuela runners-up and unbeaten in the group with five points, having drawn with both Peru and Brazil.
It was a real team performance for Salomon Rondon last night, as a bit like he does (did…?) for Newcastle United, he led the line really well and helped give others the chance to shine.
The Newcastle loan striker subbed in the closing stages ahead of Friday’s quarter-final.
Salomon Rondon became Venezuela’s top all-time scorer ahead of this tournament and will hope to add to that total in the last eight match.
An intriguing clash could lie ahead on Friday as Venezuela now meet the runners up from Group B, it is Qatar v Argentina and Colombia v Paraguay later today.
If Miguel Almiron and Paraguay beat Colombia, then they would be guaranteed second spot and to play Salomon Rondon and Venezuela. Colombia are already guaranteed top place in the group and so could well rest key players ahead of their own quarter final on Saturday.
Even a draw would be enough for Paraguay to finish runners-up, if Qatar v Argentina also ended all square.
To add a little extra something to the occasion, if Paraguay get through later today, Almiron will face Rondon at the iconic Maracana Stadium on Friday.
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