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

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

Colombia
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