Our match prediction:
Having been denied the chance to fight for Copa America title after a 2-0 loss to Chile, Colombia managed to claim the third place in the tournament following a 1-0 victory over the host nation USA. Los Cafeteros get their World Cup qualifying action back under way with a match against Venezuela, which should be a great chance for Jose Pekerman’s men to boost their confidence in order to keep the chase alive. Colombia are currently in fifth place in the South America qualifying group, level on points with Chile in fourth and only one point behind Argentina. On the other hand, Venezuela are yet to record a win in the qualifying cycle. Despite their five defeats and only one draw so far, Rafael Dudamel’s men managed to improve their form over the summer and put in a fight at Copa America Centenario. Their path ended in the quarter-finals as La Vinotinto suffered a comprehensive 4-1 defeat at the hands of Argentina. Their improved performances against Guatemala, Jamiaca, Uruguay and Mexico however give glimpses of promise to Dudamel ahead of the trip to Colombia, who enter the match without injured Radamel Falcao.
Highligted Player (Falcao):
Radamel Falcao, nicknamed the “Colombian Tiger”, is considered one of the best players in the history of Colombian football. The 177-cm-tall attacker is well known for his brilliant finishing and his header technique gives him an advantage in aerial battles with opposition defenders. Falcao was born in Santa Marta, Colombia on 10 February, 1986 and he started his senior career at Lanceros Boyaca. He played for Argentine giants River Plate between 2005 and 2009 and in 2009 he joined Porto. After scoring 41 goals in 51 league appearances for the Dragons, Falcao signed for Atletico Madrid on 18 August 2011 for a fee of €40 million. The Colombian attacker helped los Rojiblancos win Europa League trophy in 2012, scoring 12 goals in the process. He played for Monaco in the 2013/2014 Ligue 1 campaign and in 2014 he signed a loan deal with Manchester United. He scored just 4 goals in 26 league appearances for the Red Devils and was later loaned to Chelsea before returning to Stade Louis II.
Highlighted Team (Venezuela):
The Venezuela national team is the member of South American CONMEBOL confederation competing at the international stage since 1938, at the same time fighting for glory and popularity in the country where baseball diverts all of the attention from the sport. With increased popularity of the FIFA World Cup the country found enough motivation and incentive to increase player development and fan support in order to strengthen the cult of the national football team. However, South American minnows Venezuela have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and as of 2014 they remain the only CONMEBOL member not to achieve this feat. La Vinotinto have however appeared in 15 Copa America tournament with their first entry coming in 1967. Their best result was the fourth-place finish in 2011 and under the new leadership of Rafael Dudamet, Venezuela are looking for an upset at Copa America Centenario. The most prominent player of the Venezuela national team is New York Cosmos midfielder Juan Arango who is the team’s top scorer and the player with most caps.