soccer

Venezuela stuns Mexico to advance to Copa America quarterfinals

Venezuela, which opened with a 2-1 win over Ecuador, is assured finishing among the top two in Group B.

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Salomón Rondón scored on a penalty kick in the 57th minute, and Venezuela advanced to the Copa America quarterfinals with 1-0 victory over Mexico on Wednesday night.

Venezuela, which opened with a 2-1 win over Ecuador, is assured finishing among the top two in Group B. Mexico began with a 1-0 victory over Jamaica and has three points along with Ecuador, which defeated the winless Reggae Boyz 3-1 earlier Wednesday.

Mexico plays Ecuador at Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, and needs a victory to advance. Venezuela faces already eliminated Jamaica at Austin, Texas.

Venezuela ended a 13-game winless streak against El Tri.

Brazilian referee Raphael Claus awarded the penalty kick when Julián Quiñoned shoved Jon Aramburu in the penalty area.

Rondón sent his kick to the right of goalkeeper Julio González, who jumped left, and Rondón got his 42nd goal in 107 international appearances. His scoring total is almost double that of Juan Arango, second among Venezuelans with 23.

Mexico was awarded a penalty kick for a handball by Miguel Navarro on Jorge Sánchez’s shot but Rafael Romo leapt to his right to push Orbelín Pineda’s penalty kick wide in the 87th minute.

While the Vinotinto reached the quarterfinals for the third time in four tournaments, Mexico is on the verge of first-round elimination for the third time in its last four Copa America trips.

Under Argentinian coach Fernando Batista, the Venezuelans have just two losses in their last 15 matches, to Italy and Colombia.

Mexico’s midfield was without Edson Álvarez, who injured a hamstring against Jamaica and will miss the rest of the tournament.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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