A great performance by Matías Fernández ensured Chile established themselves at the top of the South American qualifying group with a 2-0 victory over Venezuela making it two wins on the road in succession.
Venezuela coach César Farias accepted blame for the defeat, but admitted that Chile “became more intense at the right time”. Venezuela had the best of opportunities in the early exchanges, having a goal annulled for a player being in an offside position. Neither team managed to dominate proceedings throughout the first half, with both teams having limited opportunities to get onto the scoreboard, playing an end to end match.
Universidad de Chile will have concerns for their captain José Rojas, who left the field with muscle soreness and was replaced by former “La U” teammate Marcos González in defence. Shortly before half time, Osvaldo González was penalised for a dangerous tackle on Nicolás Fedor and received a yellow card for his efforts.
While Venezuela went on the attack directly after the commencement of the second half, it was at the other end that the best opportunity came when Humberto Suazo powered a shot at goal in the 51st minute, however his effort was saved by Colo Colo goalkeeper Renny Vega.
Vega followed this effort up shortly after by just denying an effort by Matías Fernández that had come off one of the Venezuelan defenders. O’Higgins player Luis Pedro Figueroa also had a key chance soon after but failed to get hold off his shot and it rolled easily to the keeper.
Matías Fernández looked to be struggling with an injury that had threatened to keep him out of the game, with Sebastián Pinto warming up on the sidelines to take over from him but “Matigol” waved the trainers away. Soon after he was rewarded with Chile’s first goal of the match in the 85th minute.
Later in the game Pinto, who came on to replace Humberto Suazo, linked with Universidad de Chile midfielder Charles Aránguiz for a brilliant one-two combination, linking together a number of times before the “La U” man put it past Vega.
Venezuela 0-2 Chile
Match report courtesy of Daniel Boyle from I Love Chile.