Venezuela find a dramatic late equalizer against Ecuador in Rio

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Venezuela picked up a valuable point against Ecuador in the third round of games in Group B of the CONMEBOL Copa America.

Ayrton Preciado and Gonzalo Plata scored the goals for Gustavo Alfaro’s side, while Edson Castillo y Ronald Hernández twice levelled for Venezuela on the night.

Ecuador began the game on the front foot looking for the breakthrough. With just 3 minutes gone Pervis Estupiñán crossed from the left for young striker Leonardo Campana who headed just over.

As the minutes passed Ecaudor began to loose some of their early momentum and Venezuela gained confidence. Cristian Cásseres Jr ran through on goal and beat Pedro Ortiz only for his effort to be cleared off the line by Piero Hincapié. The referee eventually called it back for offside but the warning signs were there for Ecuador.

The game settled down until the 38th minute when Ecuador were able to find the net. Estupiñán sent a freekick into the box and Robert Arboleda got to the ball ahead of Faríñez to square for Ayrton Preciado to give El Tri the lead.

Moments before the break José Peseiro’s side was able to find a surprise equalizer. A nice combination between José Martínez y Edson Castillo ended in a powerful header finish from the latter. A big debut goal from the 27 year old Caracas FC midfielder.

The goal gave further confidence to Venezuela who began to commit players forward in search of a winner but were then hit by a rapid counter attack.

Midway through the second half Gonzalo Plata picked the ball up at the edge of his box and ran the length of the field at great pace. Farínez made a good stop but after a bit of a penalty area scramble, Plata was able to find the net to make it 2-1.

With the clock running down Castillo was again key in a Venezuela equalizer. He pinged an excquisitve diagonal pass for Ronald Hernández to arrive and head a last minute winner.

With this point Venezuela have 2 points from their 3 games while Ecuador have just 1 but with an extra game to play.

The fourth round of games in Group B will be played on Wednesday with Ecuador meeting Peru in Goiânia. Venezuela will have a rest day and have time to prepare for a huge, decisive final game against Peru on Sunday 27 June.

NUMBERS FROM THE GAME

• Ecuador are now seven games unbeaten against Venezuela in all competitions (3 wins, 4 drws). The last victory of the Vinotinto against the Ecuadorians was in the CONMEBOL Copa América 2011.

• Venezuela end a streak of three consecutive games without scoring in the CONMEBOL Copa América. This result means Venezuela avoid matching their worst run goal draught in the tournament; four games without scoring between 2001 (three games) and 2004 (one game).

• Ecuador scored two goals and picked up at least one point in a CONMEBOL Copa América match against a CONMEBOL rival for the first time since the 2016 when they also drew 2-2 but on that occasion against Peru.

• Ecuador played 551 pases against Venezuela. This is the msot passes by an Ecuadorian side in the CONMEBOL Copa America since 2011.

• Pervis Estupíñan crossed the ball into the box 11 times against Venezuela. This is the joint most crosses by an Ecuacdorian at the Copa America since 2011; Jefferson Montero also crossed the ball 11 times against the United States in 2016.