Venezuela beats short-handed Ecuador 2-1 for first Copa América win since 2016

Venezuela beats short-handed Ecuador 2-1 for first Copa América win since 2016

Published Jun. 22, 2024 9:12 p.m. ET

Jhonder Cádiz and Eduard Bello scored second-half goals after subbing on at halftime and Venezuela rallied for a 2-1 win over short-handed Ecuador on Saturday night in the opening round of group play at the Copa América.

Enner Valencia, who went into the tournament expected to lead Ecuador's attack, was shown a straight red card in the 22nd minute and Ecuador played a man down the rest of the way.

Ecuador, however, took a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute when Jeremy Sarmiento took advantage of a failed clearance of a free kick into the area by Kendry Páez.

Cádiz played a one-touch shot from 15-yards out to make it 1-1 in the 64th minute.


Bello scored on a putback from point-blank range to give Venezuela a 2-1 lead in the 74th minute. Alexander González played an arcing entry from the right side to the center of the area and Salomón Rondón's diving header was parried by goalkeeper Alexander Domínguez and Bello took advantage.

Rondón returned to the starting lineup after scoring as a substitute in the team's last friendly match.

Ecuador, which entered the tournament ranked 30th in the FIFA rankings, plays Wednesday against Jamaica at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Venezuela, ranked 54th, plays Mexico on Wednesday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

Venezuelan fans could be heard chanting, "Y va a car, y va a caer, este gobierno va a caer," which translates to "And it's going to fall, and it's going to fall, this government is going to fall." The chant comes ahead of the country's presidential election on July 28.

Ecuador lost for just the second time in its last last 10 encounters against Venezuela in all competitions (4-5-2). The only other time Venezuela beat Ecuador at the Copa América was 1-0 in 2011.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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