How Far Can ‘Dark Horses’ Venezuela Go In Copa America?

USATSI 23630996 1
USATSI 23630996 1

Ecuador were tipped as the ‘dark horse’ prior to Copa America but it’s Venezuela that are throwing the punches in the competition so far. The question is: How far can Venezuela go in Copa America?

The story so far for Venezuela

Venezuela has emerged as the unexpected success story of the Copa America tournament thus far. With victories in their first two group stage matches, they are on track to secure a first-place finish, which would provide them with a more favorable route to the final. Ecuador experienced a shocking defeat in their opening game against Venezuela.

The early dismissal of Enner Valencia in the 22nd minute shifted the momentum in favor of Ecuador, who had initially started strongly. Despite this setback, Ecuador managed to enter halftime with a lead thanks to Jeremy Sarmiento’s goal. However, Venezuela displayed remarkable resilience in the second half, turning the game around with strategic substitutions by coach Fernando Batista. Jhonder Cadiz and Eduard Bello played pivotal roles in securing the victory for Venezuela.

In their second match, Mexico dominated possession but struggled to find a breakthrough in their attacking play. Although they were awarded a controversial penalty for a handball late in the game, Rafael Romo emerged as the hero with an exceptional save.

Venezuela was granted a penalty of their own early in the second half, which was successfully converted by former Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion striker Salomon Rondon.

Venezuela’s final group stage match will be against Jamaica. A single point in this match would guarantee them the top spot in their group and a smoother path to the final. Jamaica has already been eliminated from the competition after suffering two defeats in their opening matches.

Venezuela’s style of play: Is it sustainable in future matches?

Venezuela’s football style under the coaching of Batista has been truly impressive. The team boasts a perfect blend of strong and fast players who can pose a threat to any opponent. Their squad is filled with dedicated and determined individuals who showcase remarkable strength and stamina on the field. Venezuela prefers to let their opponents dominate possession while excelling in counterattacks.

Jose Martinez and Yangel Herrera play crucial roles in the midfield, contributing significantly to Venezuela’s success. The quarter-final opponent for Venezuela is yet to be determined, but potential matchups with Canada, USA, or Brazil are on the horizon if they secure a first-place finish.

As Venezuela progresses to the knockout stages, it will be intriguing to witness how their playing style fares against tougher opposition. Allowing teams like Brazil and USA time on the ball could prove costly, given their clinical finishing abilities.

To emerge as the top underdog, Venezuela must show courage and challenge the giants of the tournament. While they haven’t won the Copa America since 1967, some fans are beginning to believe in their potential.

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