SALTA - Venezuela stunned Ecuador 1-0 to
go top of Group B at the Copa America on Saturday with only
their third win in the competition since they first took part in
The baseball-loving Venezuelans, once the whipping boys of
South American football, have four points having held holders
Brazil 0-0 in their opening match in La Plata last Sunday.
Brazil and Paraguay are joint second with two points apiece
after a 2-2 draw in Cordoba earlier on Saturday.
Midfielder Cesar "Maestrico" (Little Master) Gonzalez scored
the only goal just past the hour when he fired in a shot from
outside the box past static goalkeeper Marcelo Elizaga, who was
unsighted by one of his defenders.
It was a deserved victory for Venezuela, whose only two
previous wins in the competition were on home soil.
President Hugo Chavez, back in Venezuela after undergoing
cancer surgery in Cuba, was quick to congratulate Gonzalez on
his Twitter account.
"Bravo to our gunner Cesar Gonzalez... that little master,"
Chavez wrote on @chavezcandanga.
Ecuador, without Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia,
who is nursing an ankle injury, squandered several chances to
Striker Felipe Caicedo dribbled past several defenders in
the box but his weak shot easily stopped by keeper Denny Vega.
Another clear chance came when Caicedo passed to Cristian
Benitez, who chested down and shot on target, but it was again
saved by Vega.
Midfielder Edison Mendez passed to captain Walter Ayovi but
he missed probably the clearest opportunity with a left-footed
shot over the crossbar.
Elizaga, man of the match when Ecuador held Paraguay 0-0 in
Santa Fe last Sunday, saved from Venezuela left back Gabriel
Cichero early in the match.
Midfielder Juan Arango, Venezuela's most influential player,
had a shot on target near the end of the first half that Elizaga
dived to push away.
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
Toon upheaval continues in style
Spurs move for former England assistant manager
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010