In the 2011 CONMEBOL Copa America, played in Argentina, the teams from Venezuela and Chile faced each other on the field in the quarterfinals. The Vinotinto was playing well without having lost a match in the group stage. The goal was clear: qualify for the first time in its history to the CONMEBOL Copa América semifinals. However, achieving this wasn’t going to be easy, since they had to face the Chilean team, which had qualified in first place in their group and was clearly the favorite to win the match. So far, Venezuela had never won any matches against the Chilean team in the Copa America. It had accumulated a total of 7 losses and 2 draws up to that moment.
The Venezuelan team led by Cesar Faria went out on the field with Renny Vega, Roberto Rosales, Grenddy Perozo, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, Gabriel Cichero, Cesar Gonzalez, Franklin Lucena, Tomas Rincon, Juan Arango (C), Giancarlo Maldonado and Nicolas Fedor. On the other side, the 11 chosen by the Argentinian Claudio Borghi were the following: Claudio Bravo (C), Gonzalo Jara, Waldo Ponce, Pablo Contreras, Arturo Vidal, Gary Medel, Carlos Carmona, Luis Jimenez, Mauricio Isla, Alexis Sanchez and Humberto Suazo.
The match was played at the San Juan del Bicentenario Stadium and the referee chosen was the Ecuadorian Carlos Vera. The Vinotinto national team wore the away kit, with a white shirt, while the Chilean team wore its home kit. In the first few minutes of the game, neither of the teams did their best during the game. Only 34 minutes into the match was when it took a turn; after a foul made by Gary Medel on the right side in middle of the field. Captain Juan Arango was the man in charge; he kicked a perfect center to the heart of the area for Oswaldo Vizcarrondo to aim it to the near post and open the scoring. The players of the red team couldn’t turn the table on the other team and were bothered by it. Because of them losing the match, they accumulated quite a few yellow cards.
In the second half, it was Borghi’s team the one that stood out and determined the playing conditions. In the first 15 minutes of the match, they had three clear shots to score a goal. The first with a header made by Luis Jimenez, which Gabriel Cichero took out the goal line. Then, there were two powerful shots that flew over the bar, one by Humberto Suazo and another one by Jorge Valdivia, who had recently entered into the field. Reaching a tie seemed impossible, and it was then, in the 69rd minute, that Humberto Chupete Suazo received the ball on the edge of the area and scored a screamer to the near post. It was a tie game now, 1-1. However, 80 minutes into the game, Juan Arango, being “the specialty of the house”, shot a deflected center, which Claudio Bravo failed to kick and rebounded right where Gabriel Cichero was. Then, he only had to strike the shot. 10 minutes were left on the game and Venezuela was 2-1 up. The scene got worse for the red team; in the following play, Gary Medel received a red card and was expelled. It was then when the final whistle was blown by the Ecuadorian referee and Venezuela classified to the CONMEBOL Copa America semifinal for the first time in its history.
2011 Copa América Chile Quarterfinals
Tuesday July 17th, 2011
Venezuela 2 – 1 Chile
Goals: Vizcarrondo (34′), Suazo (69′) and Chichero (80′)
San Juan del Bicentenario Stadium