Venezuela Secures Copa America Quarterfinal Spot with 1-0 Victory Over Mexico; Jamaica Eliminated

Venezuela secured a ticket in the Copa America quarterfinals with a spirited 1-0 victory over Mexico on Wednesday, while Jamaica was eliminated from the competition.

Veteran striker Salomon Rondon, who is based in Mexico, scored the lone goal from the penalty spot to give Venezuela, who leads Group B with six points from two games, all three points. In the meantime, Mexico may still go to the next round if they defeat Ecuador in their last group match on Sunday.

Venezuela Secures Copa America Quarterfinal Spot with 1-0 Victory Over Mexico; Jamaica Eliminated
Salomon Rondon, a seasoned striker who plays in Mexico, scored the lone goal from the penalty shot. Photo Credit: AFP

However, the Mexicans will be disappointed with themselves for not being able to salvage at least one point from their encounter with Venezuela on Wednesday at Los Angeles’s sold-out SoFi Stadium.

Orbelin Pineda of Mexico missed a penalty kick in the 87th minute that would have tied the score at one when Rafael Romo, the Venezuelan goalie, parried his attempt.

Earlier, in the 57th minute, Rondon scored from the penalty spot to give Venezuela the lead after Jon Aramburu of Venezuela was pushed down by a clumsy challenge by Julian Quinones of Mexico.

Venezuela’s victory formally eliminated Jamaica from the competition, since they had earlier on Wednesday lost 3-1 to Ecuador in Las Vegas.

After losing to Venezuela in their first game on Saturday, Ecuador managed to stave off the Reggae Boyz’s furious comeback in the second half to secure a crucial three points at Allegiant Stadium.

After a penalty kick by Chelsea-bound teenager Kendry Paez and an own goal by Kasey Palmer, the South Americans appeared to be coasting to victory.

Also Read: Argentina Secures Copa America 2024 Quarterfinal Spot with Victory over Chile

But early in the second half, veteran attacker Michail Antonio gave Jamaica a goal back. And fifteen minutes before the end of regulation, strong penalty requests were turned down.

But while Jamaica pushed for an equalizer, Alan Minda’s breakaway goal in stoppage time secured Ecuador’s victory.

In the thirteenth minute, Ecuador scored their first goal by an incredible own goal. Pierre Hincapie’s left-wing pass deflected off Palmer and ended up in the Jamaican net. At the end of the half, Ecuador doubled their lead from the penalty spot.

Defender Greg Leigh reflexively used his upper arm to block a header, and following a protracted VAR review, Chilean referee Cristian Garay signaled the foul.

The 17-year-old Paez calmly took the spot-kick and struck it into the bottom corner. When he turns 18 in July 2025, he will sign with Premier League powerhouse Chelsea.

After Ecuador failed to clear a corner, Antonio blasted home a low shot on minute 54 to give a revitalized Jamaica the lead early in the second half.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Jamaica believed they had been handed a lifeline when Ecuador’s Alan Franco seemed to handle inside the area, resulting in a VAR penalty check.

Referee Garay, however, declared there had been no handball and allowed play to continue despite being called to the monitor to examine the situation. Minda’s late goal sealed Ecuador’s victory.

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