Jose Salomon Rondon notched his first international goal in nearly two years to hand Venezuela a surprising 1-0 victory over Colombia in Copa America play.
The first half begun and ended in a predictable fashion, with Colombia holding on to a majority of possession (57 percent).
Los Cafeteros maintained control over the entire field by pressuring the Venezuelans at points, but the Plainsman made sure to be aggressive, racking up 15 fouls in the first 45 minutes to stave off fluidity in Colombia’s attack.
In the 27th minute for the Burgundy, Ronaldo Vargas had a favorable chance on goal, albeit at a tough angle.
As for Colombia, Real Madrid youngster James Rodqriquez had multiple shots from outside the penalty area blocked down in the first half. Ex-Manchester United man Radamel Falcao had a strike in threatening position whistle off target, and Cristian Zapata was the victim of sound defense that redirected his close-range efforts wide.
The second half had Colombia getting opportunities but few of their strikes were on target.
Rodriguez was near scoring but his 53rd-minute endeavor was thwarted inside the box. Juan Cuadrado tried for what could’ve been an amazing goal in the 85th minute, though his attempt from the six-yard box was not hit well enough.
After Rondon hit the post, the Zenit St. Petersburg striker would power a header past goalkeeper David Ospina for the winner in the 60th minute.
Teofilo Gutierrez replaced Sevilla and Colombian forward Carlos Bacca in the 72nd minute but the switch ultimately proved to be futile.
Jose Pekerman’s side will battle Brazil on Wednesday, while Venezuela will head to face Peru the following day.