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Copa America: Venezuela edge out 10-man Ecuador

Last updated on: June 23, 2024 09:27 IST
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IMAGE: Venezuela forward Eduardo Bello celebrates after scoring a goal against Ecuador in the Copa America match at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, United States. Photograph: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Venezuela struck twice in the space of 10 minutes in the second half to come from behind and earn a 2-1 victory over Ecuador in the Copa America on Saturday, getting their Group B campaign off to a winning start.


Ecuador played most of the match with 10 men after their captain Enner Valencia was sent off in the 22nd minute for a high boot, but Jeremy Sarmiento smashed home just before halftime to put them in front.

Both of Venezuela's goals came from substitutes.

Jhonder Cadiz leveled the match in the 64th minute before Eduard Bello struck in the 74th to boost Venezuela's chances of reaching the quarter-finals.

Cadiz pounced on Salomon Rondon's cushioned layoff in the following a quickly taken throw in to level the scores will a composed finish.

IMAGE: Venezuela's players celebrate as the Ecuador players show their dejection after the match. Photograph: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Bello sealed victory for Venezuela 10 minutes later, smashing a rebound high into the net from close range after Rondon drew a save from Ecuador keeper Alexander Dominguez with a diving header.

"We fought until the end, even though we were without an important player very early," Ecuador midfielder Moises Caicedo said. "It hurts to lose... (but) we have to keep going because there are two games to go.

"We have a lot of character to turn this around and we are going to fight until the end."

Valencia was sent off after making contact with Jose Martinez's face.

Ecuador's talisman and top international scorer initially earned a yellow for the challenge but the card was upgraded to a red after the referee was sent to the monitor by the video assistant.

Valencia will be miss Ecuador's next group match against Jamaica on Wednesday as a result of the straight red card.

Venezuela next face Mexico on Wednesday.

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