Venezuela reach Copa America quarters with 1-0 win over Mexico

The win moved Venezuela, who beat Ecuador in their opening match, up to six points at the top of the group and secured their progress to the last eight with a game to spare.
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 04:51 IST

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Iinglewood, California: Salomon Rondon struck a second-half penalty to send Venezuela into the Copa America quarter-finals on Wednesday with a 1-0 win over Mexico in Group B, a result that also sent Jamaica crashing out of the tournament.

Rondon made no mistake from the spot in the 57th minute after Jon Aramburu was brought down inside the box by Julian Quinones, sending Mexico keeper Julio Gonzalez the wrong way and slotting home into the bottom corner.

The goal was Venezuelan all-time top scorer Rondon's 42nd for his country.

Mexico earned a penalty of their own for a handball in the dying minutes after a video review concluded that Miguel Navarro had blocked Jorge Sanchez's shot with his left arm, but Rafael Romo got down low to parry Orbelin Pineda's 87th minute spot kick.

The win moved Venezuela, who beat Ecuador in their opening match, up to six points at the top of the group and secured their progress to the last eight with a game to spare.

Mexico play Ecuador in Arizona on Sunday in a match that will decide the other qualifier from the group.

Jamaica are out irrespective of the outcome of their last match against Venezuela in Texas having already lost to Mexico and Ecuador.

Venezuela could win the group with a draw or victory in their final match against Jamaica, potentially avoiding defending champions Argentina in the quarter-final stage.

Romo's penalty save was one of five stops that prevented Mexico from finding an equaliser, with his last two saves coming after Pineda's penalty miss.

He first kept out Cesar Huerta's low drive in the 88th minute, then bravely blocked Guillermo Martinez's close-range effort in stoppage time.

Mexico dominated the opening half hour but Romo was equal to Santiago Gimenez's weak shot from Luis Chavez's through-ball.

Venezuela grew into the game, with Rondon hitting the post with a dipping half-volley in the 34th minute and Yeferson Soteldo forcing Gonzalez into a near-post save in the 50th.

Published 27 June 2024, 04:51 IST

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