(EFE) – Paraguay beat Venezuela 1-0 on Tuesday in the second day of the South American qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup in a match without spectators played in Mérida and thus took revenge on the last duel between the two, in which the Vinotinto left it out of Russia 2018.
Gastón Giménez, with 5 minutes remaining, culminated a good team move to score the only goal in a match in which Venezuela missed a penalty and the referee annulled a goal after checking the VAR.
The result means the first victory in these qualifying rounds for the albirroja led by Argentine Eduardo Berizzo and the second setback in a row for the Vinotinto led by Portuguese José Peseiro.
Venezuela introduced several changes to its starting lineup with respect to the first game against Colombia, which lost 3-0, and remodeled its defense with the aim of giving greater strength to the one it showed in Barranquilla.
The first half was conspicuous by the lack of precision of two teams that showed their technical limitations, with Paraguay at times besieging the Vinotinto goal.
Venezuela, however, showed solidity in defense thanks to the line made up of Rolf Feltscher, Wilker Angel, Jhon Chancellor and Roberto Rosales, a quartet with a lot of muscle but little game, and opted to look for options on the counterattack.
La Albirroja, turned in search of the goal with more will than success, enjoyed his best chance from set pieces thanks to a shot by Ángel Romero that goalkeeper Wuilker Faríñez cleared.
The same thing happened to Venezuela, which had its best chance thanks to the launch of a long free kick by Rómulo Otero that crashed off the crossbar.
However, the home team was very far from spinning plays that frightened the visitors, so the teams went to the locker room with 0-0 on the scoreboard.
The controversial move came in the 65th minute when Yangel Herrera headed into the nets a ball that came measured after a rehearsed corner play.
However, the VAR was the tool for Colombian referee Andrés Rojas to review the play and observe that the ball stroked Herrera’s arm after the header, and annulled the goal.
In the 74th minute a change carousel began after which Sergio Córdova enjoyed the best option for Vinotinto, but Paraguayan goalkeeper Antony Silva cleared the ball.
The great joy came for Paraguay when it seemed that each team would get a point.
It was the 85th minute, the Paraguayan team changed the direction of the game with a long pass to the right wing and then with two fast passes, in the only defensive error of the Vinotinto, so Giménez arrived alone in the goal area and shot from left-handed, hard and away from Faríñez’s hands.
Venezuela then tried to take a step forward with the entry of 9, Fernando Aristeguieta.
The hope of the draw came in the 93rd minute when Feltscher fell down in the center of the area and the referee did not hesitate to signal a penalty.
Yangel Herrera did not hesitate, caught the ball and went to the penalty spot. From eleven meters the goal became very small and goalkeeper Silva greatly stopped the shot.
There was hardly time for more, Paraguay added three points, with which it already has four, while Venezuela reaped its second defeat in the Peseiro era and, despite the defensive improvements, it remains without gunpowder in attack and without units in the classification.