Tag Archives: FIFA

Bolivia 3-2 Venezuela – International Friendly (18 November 2014)

Tuesday 18 November 2014

International Friendly

Bolivia 3-2 Venezuela

Estadio Hernando Siles, La Paz

Match Highlights of Bolivia 3-2 Venezuela (YouTube user: ATB Red Nacional)

Team Selections

Bolivia (4-4-2): Quiñonez; Hurtado, Raldes, Gutiérrez, Morales; Lizio (Vaca 75′), Meleán (Chávez, 68′), Chumacero (Miranda, 46′), Arce; Saucedo (Vargas, 84′), Ramallo (Moreno, 46′).

Venezuela (4-2-3-1): Hernández; González (Carabalí, 88′), Vizcarrondo, Ángel, Cichero; Lucena, Acosta (Otero, 61′); M. Rondón (Rentería, 84′), Arango (Miku, 66′), Seijas; Martínez (Orozco, 81′).

Match Report

In an entertaining encounter in which Bolivia enjoyed the better of the chances, Juan Carlos Arce ended the hosts’ 14-game winless run with a stunning 87th-minute strike that secured their first victory over Venezuela since March 2005.

First Half

La Vinotinto – who have now won just one game in their last eleven – were unable to conjure up  a convincing response to their 5-0 trouncing at the hands of Chile, as their defensive shortcomings were repeatedly exploited throughout the game – not least in the opening ten minutes.

Indeed, this opening period of play highlighted familiar frailties as  El Verde created numerous chances from the flanks, especially on their right where Argentina-born Damián Lizio, in particular, easily got the better of  left-back Gabriel Cichero, who has come in for severe criticism in the Noel Sanvicente era.

The experienced Mineros de Guayana man was not alone in struggling to effectively track his man in the early stages, as international debutant Wilker Ángel and even his centre-back partner Oswaldo Vizcarrondo both allowed Carlos Saucedo and Rodrigo Ramallo clear sights of the goal from these crosses. While neither man could convert these chances, they were to be far from their only opportunities in this game.

Following Venezuela’s first two forays into opposition territory culminating with Juan Arango’s free-kicks sailing over the bar (the first one marginally more so than the second), Saucedo was left completely free in the centre of the area from a corner but he mistimed his header which was misdirected over the crossbar.

However, despite the home side clearly having the better of the early chances, it was the returning Luis Manuel Seijas who came closest to scoring when, out of nowhere with 26 minutes on the clock, he lashed a left-footed strike from over 25 yards that rattled off the Bolivian crossbar.

As  has often been the case since Sanvicente took over, Venezuela’s few half-chances came from set-pieces rather than open play and these did little to threaten Quiñonez’s goal until the 38th minute, when Arango stood over the ball 45 yards out in the centre of the pitch. With a graceful swing of his iconic left foot, he lofted a ball towards the middle of the area where the head of Ángel – judging by his reaction seconds afterwards – met it with the faintest of touches to give the visitors a surprise 1-0 lead.

Yet two minutes later Ángel’s debut goal elation was abruptly halted by a Bolivian equaliser from captain Ronald Raldes who ran unchecked and leapt behind Ángel to unequivocally head home the corner, emphatically scoring his first international goal on what was his 81st appearance.

For the last five minutes of the half, Bolivia continued to have joy from the flanks but Venezuela were to close the half with a notable chance of their own when Josef Martínez was played through from the left by Arango – a rare instance of the visitors getting in behind the hosts – and had his low shot blocked by Quiñonez.

Second Half

Five minutes into the second half, Arango had a fantastic opportunity to regain the lead for Venezuela but, on the volley, he elegantly side-footed Mario Rondón’s right-sided cross a couple of yards wide.

Soon afterwards, the hosts continued as they had started the game and went ahead in the 52nd minute when Miguel Hurtado, allowed much space on the right by the reticent Cichero, curled in a cross that Lizio gracefully glanced into the far corner.

Despite Venezuela frequently looking vulnerable on the flanks, on the hour-mark Sanvicente decided to make an attacking change, withdrawing defensive-midfielder Rafael Acosta for attacking midfielder Rómulo Otero. It was a much-needed substitution as, the Arango chance aside, they had not created anything of note in the half, yet when they next did, Otero was to be the catalyst.

Indeed, in the 70th minute, the Caracas man received a pass 45 yards out, turned and played a well-weighted ball forward that his former club team-mate Alexander González ran onto on the inside-right, taking one touch to chest the ball forward and another to blast it into the roof of the net.

At this point, it seemed that Venezuela had salvaged something in spite of themselves, especially so after Joselito Vaca’s cross-cum-shot on 79 minutes was diverted into the net by Saucedo only to be ruled out due to the Deportivo Saprissa striker being correctly ruled offisde.

Alas, it was not to be, as with just three minutes of regulation time left, Juan Carlos Arce received the ball on the left, cut over onto his right and, in a generous amount of space, fired a right-footed cracker into the top corner to give his country a morale-boosting victory.

By contrast, Venezuela may feel rather downbeat as they have conceded eight goals in their last two games and struggled to make good opportunities from open play. In mitigation, these problems have occurred against, firstly, one of the continent’s best sides as well as another in altitude conditions that they were not accustomed to, all the while suffering from several key absentees. Nevertheless, with La Vinotinto not scheduled to play again until March and soon likely to receive a tough  Copa América draw, Noel Sanvicente can expect to find himself and his team on the receiving end of some negative editorials full of foreboding for some time yet to come.

Darren Spherical


Chile 5-0 Venezuela – International Friendly (14 November 2014)

Friday 14 November 2014

International Friendly

Chile 5-0 Venezuela

Estadio CAP, Talcahuano

Goal Highlights of Chile 5-0 Venezuela (YouTube user: Pasión Por La Roja)

Team Selections

Chile (4-3-1-2): Bravo; Isla, Medel, Lichnovsky, Mena; Vidal (Millar, 76′), Díaz (Carmona, 81′), Aránguiz; Valdivia (Hernández, 76′); Vargas (Orellana, 76′), Sánchez (Pinilla, 85′).

Venezuela (4-2-3-1): Hernández; González, Vizcarrondo, Perozo, Cichero; Jiménez (Signorelli, 86′), Acosta (Lucena, 57′); M. Rondón, Arango (Otero, 62′), F. Feltscher (Juanpi, 57′); Miku (Aristeguieta, 66′).

Match Report

Noel Sanvicente’s depleted side were repeatedly out-ran and out-thought as Jorge Valdivia returned to the Chile squad for the first time since announcing his international retirement in July to put in a triumphant performance for La Roja

Chile fielded a virtually full-strength team with the debatable exception of Porto B youngster Igor Lichnovsky who, at 6 feet 2 inches, brought some much-needed height to Jorge Sampaoli’s diminutive side which should stand him in good stead with regards to future call-ups.

Conversely, largely due to injuries as well as a couple of documentation issues and a suspension, Venezuela were unable to call upon ten players for this match, including several regular starters. Most notable amongst these were star striker Salomón Rondón, centre-back Fernando Amorebieta and, most crucially, Sanvicente’s favoured defensive-midfield partnership of converted right-back Roberto Rosales and newly appointed captain Tomás Rincón.

Indeed, even with Juan Arango returning to skipper the side after a year-long absence, La Vinotinto were made to look rather lightweight, slack and porous, with attack after attack easily bypassing Rosales and Rincón’s stand-ins, domestic league team-mates Édgar Jiménez and Rafael Acosta.

With regards to these two men, it is sometimes said that the contribution of those who play directly in front of the back four often goes unnoticed as it is not an area on the field likely to yield many headlines, with the players not anticipated to be major goal-scorers, goal-providers or even serve as the last heroic line of defence.

What the two Mineros de Guayana midfielders would have given for such anonymity.

Instead, they were very much conspicuous by their absence as any kind of effective shield for the back four as the likes of Jorge Valdivia, Alexis Sánchez, Arturo Vidal, Charles Aránguiz and Eduardo Vargas were to have much joy playing rapid short passes around and through them. This did not aid the stability and organisation of the defenders as the two full-backs, Alexander González and Gabriel Cichero, often felt compelled to provide reinforcement by coming further infield, movements that regularly resulted in space becoming available on the flanks for Chile to exploit instead. However, increasing the defensive frailties, these two men also consistently had problems largely of their own making as they struggled to effectively track the overlapping runs from their opposite numbers, Eugenio Mena and Mauricio Isla, with Cichero in particular having a torrid time against the latter.

First Half

Extensive First-Half Highlights (Youtube user:  Deporte Luis TV)

As can often be said in hindsight following a hiding, the team on the receiving end of the outcome started the game promisingly. In the first ten minutes, Venezuela asserted themselves with some high pressing led by Arango, Nicolás ‘Miku’ Fedor and Mario Rondón, the latter of whom also had the best chance in the opening stages when he intercepted a poor backwards pass on the halfway line, nudging it past a defender and then dribbling it into the area before seeing his low shot saved with the feet of Claudio Bravo.

However, by the 15th minute, both González and Cichero had been exposed on their respective sides as moves that began with Valdivia and Sánchez culminated with Mena and Isla putting in crosses that, while not leading to clear attempts on goal, nevertheless offered the home side much encouragement.

Indeed, Sampaoli’s men must have been aware of Venezuela’s problematic left-back position and it was from an attack on Cichero’s side that led to the opening goal just two minutes later. Some customary rapid midfield interplay disorientated the visitors before a ball was gratefully received in space on the right byline by Vidal, who dinked it over to the far post where it was hooked back by Mena and headed in from a yard out by Sánchez, who clashed heads with Gary Medel in the process.

Four minutes later, Sánchez was to head wide from a cross from the Chilean left, but just a minute afterwards Venezuela were to be denied a clear penalty. Once again, a midfield mix-up was seized upon by Rondón who ran up the inside-right into the area where, on the turn, he was clipped by Medel, yet despite the incontrovertible evidence in the form of television replays and even Chilean commentators shouting ‘¡es penal!’, nothing was given.

A short while afterwards, just as La Roja were looking composed and enjoying some confident midfield possession play, one sloppy pass near the halfway line again caused some unnecessary trouble. This time it occurred on the opposite flank as Miku picked up the ball and drove forward in considerable space yet when he encountered a defender on the edge of the area, he opted to shoot and watched it drift over by several yards.

For the rest of the first period, Venezuela’s closest opportunities were to come from Arango’s corners that, while never once leading to an attempt on goal, were rarely dealt with comfortably by the defending side. The best one of these occurred after 41 minutes when Cichero leapt for a ball that evaded Bravo, with it instead floating just a yard over the Mineros man’s head and out to the other side.

However, such half-chances were merely infrequent interludes to what was being created with greater consistency from open play at the other end as Chile continued to have success putting in testing balls from the flanks, which is also where their second goal came from, albeit in unconventional circumstances. Indeed, this came in stoppage-time following a weak low clearance from goalkeeper Dani Hernández that fell to the feet of Aránguiz 40 yards out on the Chilean left. He nudged it to Valdivia and immediately ran forward several yards where he received a return pass and dribbled to the left edge of the area where two players came to thwart his progress. While doing so, neither of these defenders picked up the direct run of Valdivia who met Aránguiz’s pass and then, from an extremely acute angle near the left byline, hit what must have been intended as a cross but which, from a Chilean perspective at least, was very much a golazo. Indeed, Hernández must have been anticipating a lofted pass to a colleague in the centre as he dived outwards but was instead a stranded observer as the ball squeezed in between the near post and his outstretched body, rebounding off the far post and trickling over the line.

Second Half

Extensive Second-Half Highlights (Youtube user:  Deporte Luis TV)

Venezuela thus went into the second half with a task made doubly hard and soon found themselves having to fend off further trouble as within five minutes of the restart Sánchez’s free-kick brought a decent save from Hernández, as the ball curled towards the top corner. Soon after, following some quick exchanges between the Arsenal man, Valdivia and finally Vidal, the Juventus playmaker took aim from a central position 20 yards out and hit the inside of the post with a fine strike.

Despite being on the ropes, a minute later Sanvicente’s charges also hit the post as Arango’s corner was headed on by Rondón to Oswaldo Vizcarrondo who, at short notice, guided the ball onto the woodwork, watching it rebound to Rondón who forced a low save from Bravo.

However, any optimism gained quickly evaporated as, little more than a minute later, Chile scored their third. Valdivia picked up the ball centrally in space 40 yards out and played a wonderfully incisive turf-shaving low ball to Isla, who ran in behind the sluggish Cichero and unselfishly cut it back in the centre for Vargas to tap home.

3-0 and the 35 minutes left on the clock seemed like an eternity. Following the goal, the first two of a total of five Venezuelan substitutions occurred with Málaga’s Juan Pablo Añor replacing Frank Feltscher for his international debut and Deportivo La Guaira’s Franklin Lucena putting to an end Rafael Acosta’s misery.

Unfortunately for La Vinotinto, these introductions did little to stem the Roja tide with Vargas having two good opportunities, the first of which occurred after the Queens Park Rangers forward capitalised on a Vizcarrondo miskick from a Medel clearance and then dribbled into the area before dropping a shoulder to hit a right-footed effort narrowly wide. Later, in the 72nd minute, the ball was played out from the Chilean defence to Valdivia who, in acres of space 45 yards out, just rolled the ball forward to Vargas who fired a shot from inside the area that came off the outside of the post. Soon afterwards, Venezuela were to have their last meaningful attack of the game, as Rondón’s low ball from the left into the goalmouth towards substitute Fernando Aristeguieta – sporting a retro moustache of the seediest order – was desperately blocked out by Bravo.

With 76 minutes on the clock and the outcome long since decided, Chile took off Vargas, Valdivia and Vidal and replaced them with Fabián Orellana, Pablo Hernández and Rodrigo Millar. Any hopes that this would coincide in a respite for Venezuela were soon crushed as Millar scored the fourth within a couple of minutes of coming on. This goal came following some tenacious work by Aránguiz who held off Lucena on the left touchline 40 yards out and then ran forward, passing it to Millar on the edge of the area who then played in Sánchez whose shot from close range was blocked by the leg of Hernández, only to rebound into the path of Millar.

The last ten minutes felt at least twice as long to the Venezuelan players, who at one point had to endure the home fans oléing every one of their team’s passes. Chile’s final goal came in stoppage-time as Orellana’s corner was only palmed out by Hernández to Isla on the right side of the area who played a quick one-two with Millar and then crossed for another substitute, Pablo Hernández, to run forward unmarked and score with an accomplished diving header.

Recovering for Bolivia

Thus completed the humiliation for Noel Sanvicente’s who may well feel things could have been somewhat different if Rondón has scored early on and been rightfully awarded a penalty. However, their defensive shortcomings would have still let them down and one can not help but feel that were this a World Cup Qualifying game in which Venezuela were playing for nothing but pride and Chile needed 8 or 9 goals, then they could well have got them. Indeed, La Roja soon realised that they had this makeshift La Vinotinto for the taking and if anything, relented somewhat once the score reached 3-0, with the introduction of the three substitutes who came on with 15 minutes left being necessary in order to reinvigorate the side to some degree.

Venezuela now go into their next friendly against Bolivia with their confidence having taken a strong bashing and still with a rather threadbare squad, even if they will now be able to call upon midfielder Luis Manuel Seijas. The altitude of La Paz poses some perennial questions regarding preparation and Sanvicente is reportedly dealing with it this time by travelling with his side into the city just two hours before kick-off, rather than attempting to acclimatise days in advance.

Whether this pays off remains to be seen though any superstitious fans fearing the worst against the lowest-ranked team in CONMEBOL may be gratified to hear that La Vinotinto have not lost to La Verde since March 2005.

Darren Spherical


El empate 2-2 de Venezuela con Japón en septiembre, determinado derrota 3-0 por la FIFA


La página de resultados de Venezuela de FIFA.com

(Este artículo fue escrito originalmente en inglés britain1  usaflag después de que el asunto fuera anunciado en la cuenta de Twitter de esta web.)

Recientemente ha salido a la luz que el resultado 2-2 en el amistoso internacional jugado en el Estadio Yokohama el 9 de septiembre de 2014 entre Japón y Venezuela ha sido anulado por la FIFA, siendo en su lugar compensado el equipo local con una victoria de 3-0.

Mientras que ni la FIFA ni la Federación Venezolana de Fútbol (FVF) han hecho ninguna declaración pública oficial y no ha aparecido ninguna referencia a la revocación en los medios venezolanos, la sanción está indicada en la página oficial del organismo de gobierno global del fútbol.

Se supone que la justificación tras esta decisión es debida a la presencia en el terreno de juego de Salmón Rondón en este partido, a pesar de que el delantero tenía una tarjeta roja del partido previo contra Corea del Sur.  Efectivamente, el jugador del Zenit de San Petersburgo fue expulsado aparentemente por comentarios que hizo contra uno de los oficiales del partido mientras estaba sentado en el banquillo en los últimos cinco minutos del partido y aun así continuó jugando en el posterior partido contra Japón cuatro días después.

De acuerdo con el Código Disciplinario de la FIFA (página 32, artículo 55) un equipo que ponga en campo a un jugador descalificado no solo perderá el juego si no que también pagará una multa, que en un amistoso le costaría a la FVF 4000 Francos Suizos (CHF) – aproximadamente unos 26.000 Bolívares Fuertes Venezolanos (VEF). Debido a la falta de información aportada en este asunto, en estos momentos no se sabe si esta multa ha sido cobrada y si lo ha sido, si esto ha tenido un impacto en el equipo nacional teniendo que cancelar un total de cuatro amistosos propuestos en octubre, y situando en su lugar sesiones de entrenamiento en Madrid en gran parte con jugadores que viven en el extranjero.

De todas formas, aunque este asunto sólo ha llegado a la atención del público en las últimas horas, la FVF son sin duda conscientes de ello puesto que ya han cumplido con las normas en lo que se refiere a suspensiones, no convocando a Rondón para ninguna tarea internacional en este mes, descartándole por lo tanto de los amistosos contra Chile y Bolivia.

Para ver el incidente de la tarjeta roja de Rondón contra Corea del Sur, haga click aquí (desde el minuto 10:35 en adelante) y para ver los momentos destacados de este juego, haga click aquí.

Darren Spherical


Traducido por:

Susana Spherical

Venezuela’s 2-2 Draw with Japan in September Ruled a 3-0 Defeat by FIFA


Venezuela’s Results Page from FIFA.com

(Este artículo fue escrito originalmente en inglés después de que el asunto fuera anunciado en la cuenta de Twitter de esta web. Para leer la traducción al español, haga click aquí. venezuelaflag Spain)

It has recently emerged that the 2-2 result in the international friendly played at Yokohama Stadium on 9 September 2014 between Japan and Venezuela has been overturned by FIFA, with the home side instead being awarded a 3-0 victory.

While no official public statement has been made by either FIFA or the Federación Venezolana de Fútbol (FVF) and no reference to the reversal appearing in the Venezuelan media, the forfeiture of the game is noted on the official website of football’s global governing body.

It is presumed that the justification behind the decision is due to the fielding of Salomón Rondón in this match, despite the striker having been red-carded in the previous game against South Korea. Indeed, the Zenit St. Petersburg player was sent off seemingly for comments made towards a match official while sitting on the substitutes bench in the last five minutes of the encounter and yet went on to play in the subsequent game against Japan four days later.

According to FIFA’s Disciplinary Code (Page 32, Article 55), a team fielding an ineligible player must not only forfeit the game but also pay a fine, which for a friendly would cost the FVF a minimum of 4000 Swiss Francs (CHF) – approximately 26,000 Venezuelan Bolívares Fuertes (VEF). Due to the lack of information provided on this matter, it is currently unknown whether this fine has been collected and if it has, whether this had any impact on the national side having to cancel a total of four proposed friendly games in October and instead hosting training sessions in Madrid with largely overseas-based players.

Nevertheless, though this matter has only come to public attention in the last few hours, the FVF are doubtless aware of it as they have now complied with the rules regarding suspensions by not calling up Rondón for international duty this month, thus ruling him out of the friendlies against Chile and Bolivia.

To see footage of Rondón’s red card incident against South Korea, click here (from 10:35 onwards) and to watch highlights of this game, click here.

Darren Spherical