Salomon Rondon in action for Venezuela but absent Miguel Almiron ahead of Copa America
Miguel Almiron and Salomon Rondon have the Copa America fast approaching in a week and a half’s time.
Venezuela have their first group match against Peru on 15 June, whilst Paraguay meet Qatar a day later.
Both countries have been playing friendlies in preparation for the tournament and Wednesday night (Thursday morning UK time) they were both in action.
At the weekend Rondon was left out of Venezuela’s 1-1 draw with Ecuador, as the Head Coach explained the Newcastle loan striker (and other established players) were overlooked in favour of less experienced players, as he wanted to have a look at them before picking his final 23 man squad for the Copa America.
Last night’s (early hours Thursday UK time) game saw Venezuela lose 3-1 to a strong Mexico side, Salomon Rondon played only the first 45 minutes as Murillo gave them an 18th minute lead, Mexico replying though with goals on 32 minutes (Alvarado), 54 (Pizarro) and 76 (Guardado).
They have one more friendly coming up against USA (9 June), before kicking off in the Copa America against Peru on 15 June.
As for Paraguay, they played out a disappointing 1-1 friendly against Honduras last night (early hours Thursday UK time), Cardozo giving them a 15th minute lead with a penalty but Honduras getting a draw when Figueroa scored on 75 minutes.
However, of special interest for Newcastle fans is the fact that Miguel Almiron wasn’t named in the starting eleven, nor was he even included amongst the substitutes.
No reason given so far for his absence but the striker hasn’t played since a hamstring injury picked up nine weeks ago for Newcastle against Southampton. There were concerns injury could keep him out of this Copa America but he has been training with his international teammates and named in the final 23 man squad.
Paraguay play their final warm-up game against Guatemala on 9 June so all eyes on that to see if Miguel Almiron is involved.
The Copa America then kicks off for Almiron’s national side on 16 June with a group game against Qatar, then Argentina (20 June) and Colombia (23 June).
Elsewhere on Wednesday night, Fabian Schar and his Swiss teammates were unlucky losers as they lost 3-1 to Portugal in their Nations League semi-final. Ronald’s class ending up the deciding factor.
The Juventus star gave Portugal the lead only for a controversial VAR decision to give Switzerland their equaliser. Ronaldo striking late though with another two great goals in the final few minutes (88 and 90) to give him his hat-trick and Portugal a place in Sunday’s final.
England meet Holland tonight to decide who plays Portugal in the final and who meets Schar and Switzerland for the third/fourth place play-off.
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