A return of five points (W1, D2) from the 2019 Copa America (CA) group stage means that underdogs Venezuela go into this quarter-final having lost just one of their last six matches. The win over Bolivia (3-1) that got them here was their fifth since September 2018, with each of that quintet seeing them score both first and last.
Four of those five wins saw Venezuela score inside the first and/or last 15 minutes of play. Three of those five wins also saw one specific player score exactly two goals, with Darwin Machís doing so in Venezuela’s last outing.
Argentina is here after getting a vital group win at the third attempt. The 2-0 win over guest team Qatar means that Argentina has now recorded four post-World Cup wins against opposition currently ranked inside the FIFA top-60. All have been accompanied by a clean sheet, with three ending 2-0.
Each of the 2-0 victories in said sequence also saw Argentina score in both halves, with all of them (along with the 1-0 win over Morocco in March) seeing ‘La Albiceleste’ score precisely once in the final 15 minutes of play. [Read more…]