Tag Archives: Juan Carlos Arce

Venezuela 4-1 Bolivia – International Friendly (10 October 2019)

Okay, it was Bolivia not Brazil, but belt up, buddy: a beating’s a beating. Below, @DarrenSpherical recounts La Vinotinto‘s thumping home victory.

International Friendly

Thursday 10 October 2019 – Estadio Olímpico de la UCV, Caracas, Venezuela

Venezuela 4-1 Bolivia

Video Highlights of Venezuela 4-1 Bolivia, International Friendly, 10 October 2019 (YouTube)

Triumphant Homecoming for La Vinotinto

Against a backdrop of media speculation following Josef Martínez’s refusal to participate in a Dudamel-led national team, Venezuela delivered a confident, winning performance in their first game in the capital for eight years.

A pre-match appearance from celebrated athlete Yulimar Rojas was part of the extensive build-up for this encounter with an entirely domestic league-based Bolivia led by ex-Vinotinto boss César Farías.

Having already dispatched a stronger version of La Verde less than four months ago at Copa América, Rafael Dudamel must not have hesitated in opting for a more attack-minded 4-2-3-1 formation.

From the off, the game was more open than is customary with Venezuela largely the beneficiaries of the midfield gaps which enabled the likes of Darwin Machís and hometown hero Rómulo Otero to run menacingly at the Bolivian back-line. That said, for the opening third of the game, the goal attempts were ultimately rather tame, with the best of an underwhelming bunch being a low Machís shot that was easily stopped and a couple of much-anticipated Otero free-kicks which the wall took the sting out. However, in the 38th minute there was considerably more success when el Escorpión instead crossed in a dead ball which goalkeeper Jorge Araúz badly misread, making it easy for Yangel Herrera to head home for 1-0. Three minutes later, the lead was doubled after Tomás Rincón dinked a ball towards the right edge of the area where, with two effective touches, Ronald Hernández knocked it into the centre where the roaming Rincón nudged it on to the back post area where Machís could not miss the tap-in.

Thus, the players went in at the break with the majority of the UCV crowd in a buoyant, boisterous mood. When they returned for the second half, it took just five minutes to further augment the atmosphere. Once again, an Otero free-kick from the edge of the area hit the tip of the wall, yet this time when it eventually dipped back down from orbit it was met by Jhon Chancellor, whose nod-on was acrobatically struck home via an overhead-kick from Salomón Rondón.

Although the result now seemed in little doubt, five minutes later Bolivia did get one back, with a well-crafted goal that took advantage of some slack Venezuelan tracking. Juan Arce chipped a ball towards the right edge of the area where Gilbert Álvarez picked it up and slotted it through the legs of Wuilker Fariñez. Aside from this blot, the Millonarios goalkeeper had a rather quiet night and will no doubt be disappointed to not have added to his clean sheet tally.

Subsequently, as is frequently the case, the inevitable glut of personnel changes sucked a lot of momentum from this game, with chances of note rarer to come by. Nevertheless, late on following a Rincón pass in the 87th minute, two substitutions did manage to have an impact, as Yeferson Soteldo nudged the ball on to Jhon Murillo in the area, who was fouled. The penalty was duly converted by all-time record goalscorer Rondón, who gained his second of the night to make the final scoreline even more emphatic.

Dudamel conspicuously celebrated this spot-kick, which earned him some social media derision from his critics who accused him of playing up to the cameras. Yet, after all the doubts that have been raised about the internal harmony in the squad and the players’ relationship to their boss, maybe he was just pleased and relieved to cap off a deserved victory on an emotional night.

Surely he will have been impressed by the performances of Otero and Hernández, perhaps the two players to have most boosted their chances of gaining regular starts. However, two others players he will not be able to count for Monday’s clash with Trinidad and Tobago are Roberto Rosales and Bernardo Añor. The former had a prior agreement to return to his club whereas the latter picked up a knock which denied him the opportunity of playing with his brother Juanpi in his hometown at the stadium of his club side. In his place, Zulia’s Gabriel Benítez has been called up, ensuring that there is still at least one domestic league player in the squad.

If – as is anticipated – Venezuela defeat their Caribbean opponents at the UCV, it will be only the second time during Dudamel’s reign that his side have won two consecutive games. Perhaps to some there doesn’t seem to be much to gain from defeating the team ranked 100th by FIFA, but the coach will certainly be aware that if he doesn’t, esteem-wise, there is plenty to lose. He, like most of the fans, will surely be hoping for another assertive, attacking display.

Team Selections

Venezuela (4-2-3-1): W. Faríñez; R. Hernández, W. Ángel, J. Chancellor, R. Rosales (R. Feltscher, 77′); T. Rincón, Y. Herrera (J. Moreno, 87′); J. Savarino (J. Murillo, 78′), R. Otero (J. Añor, 68′), D. Machís (Y. Soteldo, 56′); S. Rondón (F. Aristeguieta, 88′).

Bolivia (4-2-3-1): J. Araúz; O. Ribera, A. Jusino, G. Justiniano, J. Sagredo; E. Sánchez (C. Melgar, 59′) (C. Áñez, 74′), C. Arano (C. Algarañaz, 77′); L. Justiniano, J. Arce (V. Castellón, 59′), E. Saavedra (L. Vaca, 70′); G. Álvarez (C. Saucedo, 68′).

Darren Spherical

@DarrenSpherical

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

@DarrenSpherical