CARACAS - President Hugo Chavez
proclaimed Venezuela had been "robbed" of their victory goal
after his team were beaten on penalties by Paraguay in the Copa
Paraguay won a penalty shootout 5-3 on Wednesday to reach
Sunday's final, sinking a desperately unlucky Venezuelan side
who had an apparent goal ruled offside and hit the woodwork
three times during the goalless draw.
The match, which was marred by an ugly fight involving
players and coaching staff from both sides as they left the
field, ended Venezuela's remarkable run.
Long regarded as the weakest team in South America, the side
known as the "vinotinto" or "red wine" for their burgundy
jerseys punched above their weight to reach the Copa semi-finals
for the first time.
"In my modest opinion, based on observable facts, THEY
ROBBED US OF THE VICTORY GOAL! And I hope that with that I don't
offend anyone," Chavez said via Twitter from Cuba where he is
undergoing treatment for cancer.
"In truth, our vinotinto won last night. Paraguay did not
beat us in that game. Fidel [Castro] and I saw clearly that we
had a goal taken from us."
Chavez added he would complain to football's governing body in
South America [CONMEBOL] about the incident.
"I think we must raise our voice because we have authority
to do so before CONMEBOL," the president said on his
@chavezcandanga account, which is followed by almost 1.8 million
"Why the devil did that referee disallow such a spectacular
goal? Was one of our glorious artillery men offside? None of
Paraguay will face Uruguay in the Copa final on Sunday in
The result meant Paraguay reached the final of the
continent's most prestigious tournament without winning a single
match in open play, having drawn three group games before
beating Brazil and Venezuela in the knockout rounds on
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