Prep for South Africa 2010 Continues • Latino Sports

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Prep for South Africa 2010 Continues

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East Rutherford, NJ – With the last round of South Africa 2010 World Cup qualifiers approaching, the national team of Colombia played against Venezuela and EcuadorJamaica in a double exhibition game at Giants Stadium.

Colombia arrived to this match with momentum after defeating Peru for the World Cup qualifiers; however this was not enough to defeat a Venezuelan team that has been proving they are now a force to be reckoned with.

Proving that Venezuelan soccer is now up to par, Jose Manuel Rey scored the first goal in minute 34 for the “vino tintos” (the Burgundy), creating an uprising in the small Venezuelan crowd. The Bolivarianos’ joy was short lived because at minute 39 Falcao Garcia evened the scored for Colombia.

Coming into the second half, Venezuela showed Colombia a completely different strategy; adding one more forward in their formation – the “vino tintos” were in it to win it. Although Colombia’s defense stood strong against Venezuela’s attacks, at minute 73, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo broke the Paisa Wall, scoring the deciding goal for Venezuela.

The tensions on both sides were rising for the last 15 minutes of the game. Venezuela protected the lead, while Colombia tried hard to turn the game around. The crowd was up following every movement, both sides chanting their home country’s name to the rhythm of drums and horns.

The game finished with a 2-1 final score, favoring Venezuela – a team that at one point was considered the easiest team to beat in South America, but now its showing a much more competitive level of play, to the point that they’re still in the running for that fifth spot in the South America division of the World Cup qualifiers.

After a 20-minute intermission, the match of Ecuador vs. Jamaica started. Most of the Colombian and Venezuelan crowd stayed to support their fellow Latino neighbor, making the few hundred Jamaicans in the seats completely out-numbered.

The match started fast from the get go. Ecuador, who’s coming from beating Argentina, was showing no-mercy, and Jamaica, although already out of the running for South Africa 2010, was not giving in at the Ecuadorian pressure.

Ecuador’s offensive strategy of 4-2-4 paid off when Carlos Tenorio scored in the second half, but this goal was annulled when the side referee called an offside by the Ecuadorian forward.

The Ecuadorian offense continued and after a counter-attack of Ecuador, Joao Rojas scored in Dwayne Miller’s goal. However this one was also annulled because of an offside call.

The match continued without scores mostly because of each team’s goalkeeper, the Jamaican Dwayne Miller and the Ecuadorian Francisco Cevallos, both ending up being the stars of the match. 

The match ended in a draw, but the performance from both teams was outstanding; and the crowd did not leave disappointed which was clear by the continue chanting of “ECUADOR, ECUADOR!!!!” as soccer fanatics made their way out the stadium and even into the parking lots.

This was definitively a great taste of what’s to come in the last round of the World Cup qualifiers, but Ecuador needs more accuracy in their offense if they want to secure their spot in South Africa 2010.

About Bobby Ciafardini