Copa America, Group C: Pizarro pushes Peru past Venezuela in the day’s only game


Group C — the group that no one wants to win at the 2015 Copa America in Chile. Following Thursday’s lone game on the schedule, which ended with Peru defeating Venezuela, 1-0, we find ourselves pretty much right where we started, with all four teams level on points.

[ MORE: 2015 Copa America news ]

Salomon Rondon nearly put Venezuela in the lead in this one with just six minutes on the clock, but Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was quick in diving to his right and made a difficult, reactionary save on Rondon’s redirected shot from point-blank range.

Just before the half-hour mark, Venezuela were reduced to 10 men when Fernando Amorebieta was deemed to have intentionally jumping and landing on the leg of a Peruvian player, earning himself a straight red card.

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36-year-old Claudio Pizarro scored the game’s only goal in the 72nd minute, when he raced onto a deflected through ball inside Venezuela’s penalty area. After Christian Cueva’s pass into the box was initially cleared out of danger and into the path of Pizarro, the Bayern Munich striker hammered the ball over the head of Alain Baroja and off the underside of the crossbar. 1-0, Peru.

Piazrro’s goal launches Peru into second place in Group C, level on three points with every other team in the group. Meanwhile, Venezuela find themselves in third place in the group and ahead of Uruguay (based on goal differential) and Mexico as the top third-placed team at the moment.