An incredible late goal from Corona helped Mexico to seal top spot in Group C with a 1-1 draw against Venezuela in the Centenario Copa America Group C clash at the Reliant Stadium, Houston on Monday.
— PDS (@PatDStat) June 14, 2016
Mexico and Venezuela had already clinched a spot in the last eight after winning both the games against Uruguay and Jamaica. Both the nations eyed a top spot finish at the back of their mind in order to avoid Argentina in the quarter-finals.
Both the teams started on a positive note right from the start, looking for an early lead in the game. Mexico looked stronger down the wings while Venezuela built from the centre.
Velaquez gave Venezuela an early lead in the 10th minute with a brilliant scissor-kick volley from the centre of the box. Well judged delivery from a free-kick found Santos who headed it across into the danger area for Velaquez to thump in a scissor-kick volley into the top centre of the goal.
Mexico countered the situation by keeping more possession and looked to build through the flanks however Venezuela made things difficult for the El Tri in the midfield
Mexico stepped up the gas and threw more men forward in search of a goal. The more time Mexico spent on the ball, the more dangerous they started to look.
Herrera’s header gave Mexico an outside in the 3oth minute but his effort went inches over the crossbar. Herrera positioned himself well to get on the end of a Torres cross before lodging a header which flew inches over the frame of the goal.
El Tri had another chance from Peralta’s headed effort in the 36th minute but the ball went straight to the Venezuela goalkeeper Hernandez. Torres lodged in a clinical cross back to Peralta and he tried to nudge in a header at the far post. However the direction was not right and the ball fell into the keeper’s hands.
Mexico maintained the pressure on the Venezuela back-line and looked desperate to clinch an equaliser before the interval but they kept searching for that one perfect finish.
Mexico were denied a penalty in the 39th minute as the referee failed to detect an almost intentional hand ball inside the penalty box. Moreno lodged a header towards goal which Angel clearly blocked with his hand.
Mexico doubled their effort after the restart and were clearly the more attacking side as Venezuela focused more on holding onto their lead.
Mexico almost clinched the equaliser from a clinical and well chalked out build up from the middle in the 50th minute. Corona played it down for Lozano, who played a one-two pass with Peralta before whipping the ball into the danger area but Velazquez’s crucial tackle denied them the much needed goal.
Moreno’s header at goal following a free-kick in the 74th minute was kept out by Venezulea goalkeeper Hernandez as he pulled of a sensational save to keep his team ahead as Mexico kept on asking questions.
— Aldo19Roman (@AldoRoman07) June 14, 2016
Corona scored the much needed equaliser for Mexico in the 80th minute as he spectacularly paved his way past three Venezuela defenders before thumping in a right footed shot to the bottom left corner past Hernandez.
Venezuela had a chance to put the game to bed in the dying minutes of the match but an acrobatic effort from Jose Corona denied them of a dream finish. Martinez scooped a bicycle kick towards the far post but Jose Corona managed to punch it out for a corner.