Venezuela Camp Focus – Paraguay clash offers chance of retribution for World Cup qualifier defeat

A 0-0 draw with Brazil and a 1-0 win over Ecuador has guaranteed Venezuela a place in the quarter-finals of the Copa America for only the second time in the country´s history, with Colombia´s 2-0 win against Bolivia on Sunday ensuring La Vinotinto progress as at least one of the best third-placed teams, whatever happens in their final group game.

Victory over Paraguay in Salta on Saturday will guarantee they finish top of Group B and it will be the first time the two sides have met since October, 2009, when Venezuela needed a win to draw level on points with Uruguay and qualify for the play-offs for the 2010 World Cup. However, a 2-1 defeat put paid to their hopes and Venezuela are now looking for a measure of retribution, as defeat for Paraguay will see them eliminated from the tournament.

Experienced striker Alejandro Moreno came on as a second-half substitute in that game and remembers the Paraguay players´ celebrations afterwards, even though they had already qualified for South Africa: “We felt we should have done better but there was a general bad feeling about how they celebrated their goals and knocked us out,” he said, although he is determined to put aside any talk of revenge: “We will think of Paraguay and what happened, but we must also think first and foremost about what got us here. We face a big task but want to get the result that sees us top the group.”

Venezuela boss C

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