South American minnows, Venezuela, have done the unthinkable, to secure their first win of the Brazil 2014 qualifying campaign. Los Llaneros dispatched their CONMEBOL rivals, Argentina, 1-0 on Tuesday evening, at a stadium in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. “We made history,” said Venezuelan midfielder, Cesar Gonzalez.
What makes Venezuela’s victory over the Argentines seem even more remarkable, is that the latter team featured a typically ‘all-star’ line-up, including Lionel Messi and Malaga F.C.’s Martin Demichelis. The sky blues were arguably not playing their best football but that shouldn’t diminish Venezuela’s achievement. Those following the online betting will still have been hugely shocked.
Fernando Amorebieta, of Spain’s Athletic Bilbao, scored the winning goal for Venezuela, just after the half-time break. The strike came from a Juan Arango corner. Arango, who plies his trade at German outfit, Borussia Monchengladbach, has drawn praise for his performance on Tuesday, which included a number of solo efforts on goal.
Buenos Aires-born goalie, Mariano Andujar, was Argentina’s saviour, for much of the evening. The 6ft 4in player saved two of Arango’s strikes, including from a free-kick in the first half.
Alejandro Sabella, chief of the Argentine national side, told the assembled press that his country “must improve”. The 56-year-old, who played for South American teams, Estudiantes and River Plate, in a football career lasting fifteen years, said that Venezuela “did not let us build attacking plays”.
However, Tuesday’s result could ultimately prove irrelevant for both teams and the betting reflects this. Los Llaneros will need to maintain their winning form for the next two years, while Argentina will have to suffer an untold collapse to ruin their hopes of World Cup qualification.