Chile defeats Venezuela 3-2 in World Cup qualifier

Humberto Suazo scored the second of his two goals in injury time to lift Chile over Venezuela 3-2 in World Cup qualifying Thursday.

Chile trailed 1-0 after striker Giancarlo Maldonado opened the scoring on a free kick in the 59th minute in front of 32,000 screaming fans at Jose Antonio Anzoategui Stadium, but Suazo equalized in the 65th on a penalty kick after Venezuela’s Leonel Vielma tripped up Chile’s Alexis Sanchez inside the box.

Defender Gonzalo Jara put Chile ahead in the 72nd minute, converting a center pass from Marco Estrada only to see Venezuela’s Juan Arango score the equalizer eight minutes later.

Suazo blasted the ball well out of the reach of Venezuela goalkeeper Renny Vega from 30 meters to put Chile ahead for good in 2nd minute of injury time.

“It’s very painful losing by one goal due to a mistake that occurred in the last minute,” Maldonado said.

Chile attacked more and seemed to control the match in the first half, but Venezuela’s defense improved in the second half as Vega blocked several shots on goal.

The victory put Chile in 4th place with 10 points while Venezuela dropped to seventh place with seven points – one less than Uruguay. Paraguay his in first place, followed by Argentina and Colombia.

The first four finishers will qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.


Lineups:

Venezuela: Renny Vega, Gerzon Chacon, Leonel Vielma, Jose Manuel Rey, Jonay Hernandez, Miguel Mea Vitali (Luis Manuel Seijas, 81), Jorge Rojas, Ronald Vargas (Tomas Rincon, 61), Juan Arango, Giancarlo Maldonado, Alexander Rondon (Daniel Arismendi, 55).

Chile: Claudio Bravo, Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara, Ismael Fuentes, Carlos Carmona, Marco Estrada, Roberto Cereceda, Pedro Morales (Daud Gazale, 62), Alexis Sanchez, Humberto Suazo, Jean Beausejour (Mark Gonzalez, 62).

Referee: Roberto Silvera (Uruguay).