Preview: Venezuela vs. Argentina – prediction, team news, lineups
By Adefehenti , Reporter | Argentina will be looking to maintain their impressive knockout-stage record at the Copa America when they take on Venezuela in Friday's quarter-final at the Maracana.
Summary La Albiceleste stuttered throughout the group phase, but they did what was required to advance through and now have a favourable last-eight tie against a side they tend to perform well against in this competition. Darwin Machis gave La Vinotinto an early lead in their must-win match, finding the back of the net inside two minutes to settle the nerves, and the Udinese-owned striker scored a second shortly after half time. Mediocre Bolivia, who crashed out as the only pointless side in the group phase, pulled one back through Leonel Justiniano, only for substitute Josef Martinez to kill off the match soon after. Rafael Dudamel's side now have a chance to exact some revenge on Argentina, who dumped them out at the same stage three years ago with a 4-1 win in the United States. This is Venezuela's fourth quarter-final, and only once before have they made it past this point - in 2011 when beating Copa specialists Chile 2-1. Venezuela have lost just one of their last six matches overall - 3-1 to Mexico in a pre-tournament friendly earlier this month - scoring eight goals and conceding five during that run. Of the teams to make it this far, La Vinotinto allowed the most opposition shots (46) and attempted the fewest (32). After keeping out Brazil's attacking talents last week, though, Venezuela have the ability to frustrate Argentina. Recent form in Copa America: DDW Recent form (all competitions): DLWDDW