Venezuela 2-2 Ecuador: Jose Peseiro's men score in injury time to claim Copa America point

By Sports Desk June 20, 2021

An injury-time goal from substitute Ronald Hernandez earned Venezuela a 2-2 draw with Ecuador in a dramatic finish to the Copa America clash on Sunday.

Jose Peseiro's men looked to be heading for a second defeat in three games after Gonzalo Plata joined Ayrton Preciado on the scoresheet for Ecuador, those goals coming either side of Edson Castillo netting for Venezuela.

However, Hernandez headed in at the death in Rio de Janeiro to boost his side's hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the tournament.

That allowed Venezuela to add to the point they earned when holding Colombia to a 0-0 draw.

Ecuador made a strong start, hitting the woodwork after just four minutes when Leonardo Campana met a Pervis Estupinan cross with a low shot that clipped the post.

Although clearly prioritising defensively solidity in the early stages, Venezuela showed their threat on the break when Cristian Casseres blasted over the bar.

The same man then went close with a lob that Pedro Ortiz did just enough to keep out and which would have been awarded by VAR, had it dropped in, despite an on-pitch offside call.

That early flurry of chances was not in keeping with a poor first half, but Ecuador livened things up before the break as Preciado bundled home in the 39th minute after a free-kick.

And the excitement continued early in the second period as Castillo marked his first start for his country by levelling with a powerful header from Jose Martinez's right-wing cross in the 51st minute.

Venezuela almost moved into the lead with 20 minutes remaining as a Casseres corner somehow squeezed through to hit the base of the post before being desperately cleared.

But it was a counter from the subsequent corner that saw Ecuador go back in front in the 71st minute, Plata poking the ball home having first been denied at the end of a brilliant breakaway down the right.

Enner Valencia should have wrapped things up shortly after when he was played in behind, but his effort trickled wide of the far post with the goalkeeper stranded.

And that miss was punished as the game headed into time added on, Hernandez meeting a superb pass in behind from Castillo to head the ball home and claim a point.

What does it mean? Ecuador under threat

Given the state of play at kick-off, this fixture represented a huge opportunity for both teams to pull away from Peru in the race to avoid bottom spot in Group B.

And it seemed like Ecuador had taken their chance until Hernandez's equaliser, which makes their upcoming meeting with Peru all the more vital to their hopes of progressing.

Castillo impresses

Having only made his debut for his country at this tournament, Castillo not only marked his first start with a first goal but also provided the brilliant raking assist for Hernandez.

Valencia misfires

Ecuador would have been out of sight had Valencia found the target with either of his two shots, both of which came from presentable opportunities.

What's next?

Ecuador are back in action on Wednesday when they take on Peru in Goiania. Venezuela, meanwhile, must wait until Sunday to wrap up their group-stage campaign against the Peruvians in Brasilia.

Related items

  • Barcelona 3-1 Valencia: Fati and Depay help ease pressure on Koeman Barcelona 3-1 Valencia: Fati and Depay help ease pressure on Koeman

    Ansu Fati and Memphis Depay helped ease the pressure on Ronald Koeman as Barcelona sealed a 3-1 win over Valencia at Camp Nou on Sunday.

    The Catalan giants had won just three of their opening seven LaLiga games before the visit of Los Che and more disappointment looked a real possibility when Jose Gaya powered Jose Bordalas’ side ahead early on.

    Fati, whose return from a long-term knee injury had been limited to substitute appearances before the international break, marked his first start since November 7 with a superb equaliser, while Depay put them in front from the penalty spot before the interval. 

    Substitute Philippe Coutinho gave the scoreline a healthier look five minutes from full-time as Barca, who handed former Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero a late debut from the bench, sealed an important win.

    It took just five minutes for Valencia to take the lead, Gaya lashing a superb half-volley into Marc-Andre ter Stegen's bottom-right corner from 30 yards.

    Barca responded well, though, and drew level eight minutes later when Fati whipped past Jasper Cillessen from just outside the penalty area after a one-two with Depay.

    The Dutchman then put the hosts ahead four minutes before the interval, thumping home from the penalty spot after Gaya had brought down Fati inside the area.

    Cillessen got down well at his near post to keep out Fati's effort shortly after the restart, while at the other end Carlos Soler saw an effort crash back off Ter Stegen's right-hand post.

    Ter Stegen had to be alert to keep out Goncalo Guedes' powerful strike shortly before the hour mark as Valencia threatened to restore parity. 

    Maxi Gomez almost drew Valencia level with a long-range free-kick that flashed past Ter Stegen's upright inside the final 10 minutes, yet it was Coutinho who had the final say, the Brazil international sliding in his first goal of the season from close range.

  • Juventus 1-0 Roma: Szczesny saves Bianconeri amid spot-kick controversy Juventus 1-0 Roma: Szczesny saves Bianconeri amid spot-kick controversy

    Wojciech Szczesny was the hero for Juventus as he saved Jordan Veretout's penalty, awarded under controversial circumstances, en route to a 1-0 win over Roma.

    Moise Kean earned the credit for the Bianconeri's winning goal in the first half as Rodrigo Bentancur's header deflected off his forehead and in.

    Tammy Abraham thought he had equalised, turning a loose ball into the back of the net after Szczesny brought Henrikh Mkhitaryan down in the box, but the whistle had already gone to award Roma a spot-kick, which Jordan Veretout saw the Juventus goalkeeper parry aside.

    The result sees Massimiliano Allegri's side move up to seventh in the Serie A table, just one point behind Roma, who remain fourth.

    Roma started the brighter of the two sides, Gianluca Mancini testing Szczesny with an early headed effort, but went behind in the 16th minute as the hosts scored with their first attempt of the game, Bentancur heading the ball against Kean and in following Mattia De Sciglio's deep cross from the left.

    The visitors were left frustrated as the referee blew his whistle to award them a penalty - confirmed after a VAR review - for Szczesny's foul on Mkhitaryan just moments before Abraham found the net, with Veretout's subsequent spot-kick saved by the Poland international.

    Shortly after the restart, Federico Bernardeschi's spectacular bicycle kick was spilled into the path of Kean by Rui Patricio, but the striker blazed the loose ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

    A second VAR penalty check was conducted when Lorenzo Pellegrini went down in the box as he and Giorgio Chiellini swiped at a loose ball, but this time Jose Mourinho's men were denied a spot-kick and were unable to find an equaliser, slumping to their third defeat of the season.

  • Ravens sweep aside Chargers, unconvincing Chiefs back to winning ways Ravens sweep aside Chargers, unconvincing Chiefs back to winning ways

    The challenge of stopping Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens has proven beyond plenty of defensive teams during his still relatively young NFL career, and one of the finest defensive minds in the league was not up to the task in Week 6.

    Jackson's meeting with fellow quarterback Justin Herbert was pegged as a battle between MVP candidates as the Ravens hosted the Los Angeles Chargers, and it is the Ravens star who has the stronger case after their dominant 34-6 win in a clash of 4-1 teams.

    Brandon Staley was appointed as Chargers head coach on the back of his excellent performance in his one year as defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams.

    His Rams defense allowed the fewest yards per play in the NFL last season, however, the Chargers have struggled mightily against the run in 2021, making them an enticing matchup for the league's premier dual-threat quarterback in Jackson.

    As it happened Jackson was able to lighten the burden on his shoulders in terms of running the ball, Latavius Murray and Le'Veon Bell each going in for rushing scores to put the Ravens 14-0 to the good in the second quarter.

    Reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert responded late in the half with a one-yard touchdown throw to Jared Cook after a Jackson interception, though the Chargers still trailed 17-6 at the half.

    But a 12-play, 52-yard drive ended with Jackson hitting Mark Andrews for a nine-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and there was never a hint of a Chargers comeback thereafter.

    Jackson's stat line, 19 of 27 passing for 167 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions with 51 yards on eight rushes, was pedestrian by his standards, but it was enough to give the Ravens the best record in the AFC as he claimed his 35th win, breaking Dan Marino's record for the most by a quarterback before his 25th birthday.

    Chiefs remain unconvincing

    Plenty wondered whether it was time to panic for the Kansas City Chiefs following their Week 5 loss to the Buffalo Bills in primetime last Sunday, which dropped them to 2-3.

    Concerns about the two-time defending AFC champions were furthered after a first-half performance against the Washington Football Team that saw them trail 13-10 at the half.

    Patrick Mahomes threw two interceptions, one off the hands of Tyreek Hill and another with an inexplicable decision to toss the ball up for grabs after fumbling the snap.

    However, a touchdown pass to Hill and Darrel Williams' second rushing score of the game put Kansas City in command before Mahomes found Demarcus Robinson in the endzone to secure a 31-13 win that moves them within striking distance of the Chargers in the AFC West.

    Five in a row for Packers

    The Packers are far from the finished product at this stage of the season, but it is now five wins in a row for Green Bay after their 24-14 victory over NFC North rivals the Chicago Bears.

    Aaron Rodgers averaged 8.5 yards per pass play and threw for two touchdowns, with the Packers quarterback reminding the Bears' fans at Soldier Field of his hold over the division after running for a score that effectively put the game to bed.

    The Los Angeles Rams are also 5-1 after Matthew Stafford threw four touchdown passes in a 38-11 rout of the New York Giants.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.