Colombia Venezuela

MATCH REPORT: COLOMBIA VS VENEZUELA, GOALLESS DRAW ENSUES AS DOGGED DEFENDING MET WASTEFUL ATTACK

met in each side’s second match of the Copa America. While Colombia were coming off the back of 1-0 win against Ecuador, Venezuela were blanked 3-0 by defending champions Brazil.

The opening 10 minutes saw a pretty even flow to the game as both teams went back-and-forth at each other. The best chance of the match came in the 13th minute when Munoz cushioned a cross across the face of goal, which just avoided a stretching Yerry Mina at the far post. Colombia were slowly growing into the game but Venezuela had been giving a good account of themselves so far.

 

That account almost got a lot poorer as Venezuela’s playing out from the back broke down, gifting the ball to Cardona. The winger’s shot was expertly kept out by Farinez in goal. The match settled down after that with chances few and far in between, as Colombia mostly knocked the ball around without threatening Venezuela’s backline. Zapata tried a low shot which was pushed away by Farinez, into the path of Muriel who blazed over under pressure from the charging goalkeeper.

 

Zapata again tested Farinez from inside the box with Colombia looking increasingly likely to break the deadlock at any moment. Tesillo’s shot hit Uribe leading to offside as Venezuela struggled to stop waves of attack at its goal. However, they held firm and the scores remained 0-0 at halftime.

 

The second half started with Colombia once again pushing to find the opening goal. Uribe’s overhead kick was brilliantly tipped over by Farinez in the 53rd minute, as Venezuela again were having to defend deep. The match slowed down after that with both teams probing cautiously whenever going forward.

 

The game kept its monotonous play for the next 20 minutes, when a little bit of a heated kerfuffle started. A lot of players from both teams got involved, with Cuadrado and substitute Herrera both getting yellow carded. Another flashpoint came five minutes later with Uribe and Martinez involved as the game became more about stoppages.

 

Farinez was superb right till the end, denying Uribe once again from a close range header in the 90th minute. Colombia had the ball in the net, only for the offside flag to go up. Substitute Borja’s overhead kick was saved by an acrobatic Farinez as Colombia piled on the pressure in injury time. The hope of a goal quickly faded as another substitute, Luis Diaz was sent off for a dangerous stomp. That would be all of the action with both teams having to settle for a goalless draw in the end.

 

Here are the three key takeaways from the match:

 

COLOMBIA NEED TO BE MORE CLINICAL

Reinaldo Rueda’s side had the lion’s share of shots, but failed to find the net. They had solid chances, especially for Zapata and Cardona who were found to be missing their shooting boots. Their win against Ecuador would have built good momentum in them heading into tonight’s match. Despite some very intricate linkup play and overpowering Venezuela’s defence time and again, there simply seemed to be no way in.

 

Either the shots were placed too close to the goalkeeper or just went off target from good solid positions which led to a scoreless first half. The second half was more of the same with Colombia failing to get many decent chances, except the spectacular effort by Uribe that was kept out. Their frustrating night was further compounded with the red card for Luis Diaz. With no goal scoring menace for long periods of the game, it was no surprise that they had to settle for a draw at the end.

 

VENEZUELA SHOWING GRIT

COVID-19 had already decimated Venezuela’s preparations, forcing 12 players to miss out and an extra 15 to be called up before their last game. Having got some days to practice with this almost new squad, they gave a much better performance this time. Though they had few real chances of scoring, their defensive work was dogged and frustrated Colombia for large portions of the game.

 

Goalkeeper Farinez was in inspired form, stopping everything that came his way to keep the scores level at halftime. He would keep that fine form following the break, saving a firm shot from Uribe and holding onto everything that fell his way. Venezuela, as expected, did not offer much attacking wise this time either. Instead, they kept their solid shape at the back which helped them earn a share of the spoils.

 

IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED FOR COLOMBIA AND VENEZUELA

Neither side looked especially great to reach the final four, much less challenge for the crown. Though Colombia were the more dominant, they will still need to pull up their socks quite a bit in order to unlock their true potential. For Venezuela, the pandemic has already left their campaign hopes in ruins and they will do well to match up to tonight’s performance in the future.

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