Well, who could have predicted that?
Venezuela, the team who is solidly in last place in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying has two wins in two games and has just upset the 15 time Copa America champs Uruguay, kicking Uruguay into being all but eliminated in the Copa America Centenario.
The game started very physically as both teams had players going to ground. It almost rivaled what would be seen during a Philadelphia Eagles game more than a soccer game. Nevertheless, both teams had their chances.
But it wasn’t until Venezuela, yes Venezuela, took advantage of Fernando Muslera going off his line, inviting Alejandro Guerra to strike a shot from midfield. Muslera was able to get to the shot, punching the ball off the crossbar. But Salomon Rondon came through and scored the opening goal of the game.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 10, 2016
It wound up being the only goal of the game as Venezuela captured a huge upset. But while Venezuela took the upset win, the game will also be remembered for Luis Suarez’s tirade on the sidelines after some confusion came forth late in the game.
In a move that still confused many, it appeared Suarez didn’t know he was officially listed is “out” on the official Copa America start list. Suarez taped his legs and boots and was warming up as if he was coming in but when Oscar Tabarez didn’t, Suarez took a fit on the bench.
— La casa del fútbol (@casadelfutbol) June 10, 2016
In trying to get an interview, Suarez walked past everyone in the “Mixed Zone” and not wanting to talk. Probably the smartest move actually. Tabarez did talk about the situation in the press conference and didn’t change what he has said since the beginning of the tournament.
— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) June 10, 2016
Despite what Suarez did or didn’t know, it does mean Uruguay is all but out of the Copa America Centenario. While Uruguay won’t be too concerned with being eliminated considering they are leading the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying rankings, they should at least be a bit worried in terms of how this effects qualifiers in a couple months (play Argentina 8/28) and how Suarez reacts in the coming days.
For Venezuela, this victory has to be like winning the entire tournament. This is what happens when a team who isn’t taking the Copa seriously plays a team who treats it like it’s the World Cup. Venezuela as a country is struggling economically and know they’re more than likely out of the World Cup as a team. There isn’t really much for a Venezuelan fan to hang their hat on. While this may just be a tournament to some, Venezuela is using this as a chance to earn some respect and a small place among the top teams of the Americas. And in the end, the team that wanted it more, got the win tonight.