CONMEBOL Week 12 Wrap

1 04 2009

For those neysayers that still think that Europe is tops for international play, the past two days in CONMEBOL once again proved why this region is the toughest in the world to get out of.

Venezuela and Bolivia’s chances to get to the World Cup were moribund until they played their most inspired matches of the season. Both sides made history in process. Venezuela beat their neighbors for the first time in World Cup qualifying play at home. A ten-man Colombia side put up a valiant fight, albeit one that generated few chances on goal the last half hour of play.

Nicolás Fedor opened the scoring with a contrversial goal and Juan Arango once again was the Cafeteros’ nightmare scoring off a free kick that David Ospina could do nothing about. This left Colombis in a tough situation come June against an Argentina side that will defintely be motivated.

Diego Maradona thought his side was clicking on all cylinders, but the altitude and a team that poppoed them in the mouth put them in dire straits from the first whistle. Bolivia’s 6-1 thrashing of the Albiceleste was the worst for the Argentines since the 1958 World Cup when Czechoslovakia beat them by the same result.  Joaquín Botero’s hat-trick placed him top the goalscoring list.

Ecuador once again had trouble scoring but once they had the lead their advantage was take away in the dying moments of the match by Paraguay.  The Guaranís are now two points away from reaching the magic number to qualify for the World Cup.

Chile and Uruguay was one of the more exciting scoreless draws that could be seen.  The frenetic pace benefitted the spectators, but neither team got the complete satisfaction to know that they pulled a point away from Colombia.

Brazil had it a long time coming and they were able to beat Peru without a problem.   The win put them in second place behind Paraguay and Brazil inch closer to the cup as well as a huge match in June at the Centenario.

Venezuela 2-0 Colombia
VEN: Fedor (76′), Arango (81′)

Bolivia 6-1 Argentina
BOL: Martins (11′), Botero (33′ pk, 53′, 65′), Da Rosa (45′), Torrico (81′)
ARG: González (24′)

Ecuador 1-1 Paraguay
ECU: Noboa (63′)
PAR: Benítez (90′)

Chile 0-0 Uruguay

Brazil 3-0 Peru
BRA: Luis Fabiano (16′ pk, 27′), Felipe Melo (64′)stand1


Venezuela Make History Against Short-Handed Colombia

31 03 2009
Courtesy:Futbol Red

Courtesy:Futbol Red

Venezuela had never beaten Colombia for their The storyline of the match was the fact that Colombia played shorthanded for three quarters of the game and were able to outplay a Venezuela side that showed occasional spurts of offensive brilliance. That combines with Colombia’s lapses when they were well over 70 minutes with man less on the pitch after Abel Aguilar was sent off in the 26th minute. Eventually  in a span of five minutes, the game was decided.

Colombia can blame Chilean referee but no one can doubt the brilliance of Juan Arango when he drilled a freekick into David Ospina’s far post. That goal literally sealed the deal for the Vinotinto and brought them back from the dead. But it was their inability to cash in on certain opportunities that affected them most. If you were to give a report as of who played better it was a shorthanded Colombia. Venezuela lacked ideas although it pushed more from the wings. They were left vulnerable on the counterattack but their numbers were not affected by a Colombian counter that had a tough time developing due to the physicality of the Venezuelans but also the imprecision of the Cafeteros.

The Colombian defense was a rock, especially centerbacks Mario Yepes and Christian Zapata.  These two cleaned up every mess that was out there to be cleaned.   They were a testament to the tactical organization that coach Eduardo Lara implemented on the pitch even after Aguilar was sent off.  Venezuela in the meantime continued their yoeman effort.

Altohugh confused in several passages of the match, Venezuela came into their own in the final stages.  This is when Juan Arango started to come into his own.  It appeared that he was lacadasical for 75 minutes but he turned it up a notch in the final 15.  After a controversial goal by Fedor in the 76th minute gave them the lead, a defensive mistake gave Arango a chance to do what he does best- and that was exactly what he did.

Now both teams find themselves in alternate roads yet once again.  Venezuela regained their confidence while Colombia lost theirs in the cracks yet again.  For Venezuela the dream is still alive.  For Colombia, the possibility of being out of a third consecutive World Cup is staring him right in the eye.  Now they will be rooting hard for Chile against Uruguay.  A Chilean win will keep them still at arm’s distance.

Venezuela 2-0 Colombia

Fedor (76′), Arango (81′)

Player Ratings

Vega 5
Velasquez 4.5
Salazar 4
Lucena 5.5
Rincón 5
Fuenmayor 5.5
Arango 6
Maldonado 4.5
Rosales 4.5
Moreno 5
Fedor 6
Peña 5
Acosta N/A

Ospina 5.5
Zuñiga 4
Yepes 6
Zapata 5
Nuñez 4.5
Aguilar 2.5
Bedoya 5.5
Marín 5
Torres 5.5
Quintero 5
Falcao 3
Mosquera 3
Marrugo 5
Rodallega 3.5

Important Midweek Matches In CONMEBOL

31 03 2009



The weekend results left various teams’ aspirations either recharged or on life support.
One of the teams that is at that stage is Venezuela. After a strong start winning two out of their first four matches, Venezuela has fallen of significantly.

The post-Richard Paez era has not been to kind to the Vinotinto and their confidence is virtually shot.  César Farías has not been able to find the way to right this ship and his he has looked for everything from the established player all the way to the young up and comers.

Their coup de grace might have been the visit to Buenos Aires.  Although they have never won against the Albiceleste, it was a chance to send a message to CONMEBOL that they were still in the running for at least the fifth spot in the region.

But in the Northern Derby… those things fly out the window and their competition does not lie strictly on the football pitch.   I just have two words for you-  Catherine Fulop and Pilar Ruiz.  These two ladies from Venezuela and Colombia respectively make you take life in a different make you look admire the game both in and out of the pitch.

Pilar Ruiz

Pilar Ruiz

Catherine Fulop

Catherine Fulop

Stats:  Both teams have faced off five times in World Cup qualifying play in Venezuela.   Colombia leads the series 1-4-0.  Colombia have not won in Venezuea since 1996. Colombia are winless in their last five road games (1-0-4) and haven’t won a road game in WCQ since November 2005 against Paraguay in Asunción. Read the rest of this entry »

You Are All Invited…

31 03 2009


Mad About Fútbol will be hosting its first-ever chat during the Venezuela-Colombia match Tuesday night in Puerto Ordaz. Join us as we will be talking about the game, other events worldwide, and any other stuff you want to talk about.

Look forward to having you attend.

Click Here

Colombia Confirms Lineup

30 03 2009


Colombian coach Eduardo Lara confirmed today that his national team will change scheme when they step onto the pitch in Puerto Ordaz against a Venezuelan side that is licking their wounds after returning from Buenos Aires whipped and humiliated.  That still does not avoid the fact that for the visiting Colombians this is a must-win game in a place where they haven’t won since December 15, 1996.   Also with Uruguay and Chile facing off in Santiago, a win in Puerto Ordaz will put them back in the race for a spot in South Africa 2010.

Lara decided to go with a 4-4-1-1 as compared to the 4-3-1-2 that he used against Bolivia.

David Ospina seems to have fulfilled his promise and at 20 years of age he has taken over as the starting goalkeeper for Los Cafeteros. The backline for Colombia will consist of Camilo Zúñiga, Christian Zapata, Mario Yepes, and Luis Núñez. Núñez is the surprise after he was declared the substitute for the suspended Pablo Armero.

The midfield will consist of a “double five” with Abel Aguilar and Gerardo Bedoya.   Vladimir Marín (left) and Macnelly Torres (right) will play on the outside while Carlos Darwin Quintero will drop back and support Radamel Falcao García.  For García, his chances to be the striker for the national team is running out.  He has only scored two goals in 13 caps with the national team.

Confirmed Lineup:  David Ospina (Nice-Fra), Camilo Zuñiga (AC Siena-Ita), Christian Zapata (Udinese-Ita), Mario Yepes (Chievo-Ita), Abel Aguilar (Hércules-Esp), Gerardo Bedoya (Millonarios),   Vladimir Marín (Libertad-Par), Macnelly Torres (Colo Colo- Chi), Carlos Darwin Quintero (Santos Laguna-Mex), Radamel Falcao García (River Plate-Arg)

Mad About Fútbol will be hosting its first-ever chat during the Venezuela-Colombia match Tuesday night in Puerto Ordaz. Join us as we will be talking about the game, other events worldwide, and any other stuff you want to talk about.

Look forward to having you attend.

CONMEBOL Week 11 Results And Standings

29 03 2009


Uruguay took a huge leap towards getting back into the race to qualifying for South Africa 2010 with a convincing win over first place Paraguay at the mythical Centenario in Montevideo.  It was the vanguard (Diego Forlán and Diego Lugano) that scored both goals for Oscar Washington Tabárez’ club.  They will now face a Chile side in Santiago that made history against archrivals Peru.
Read the rest of this entry »