Venezuela Primera Division round-up: Late goals, drama and dropped points

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Group leaders: Deportivo La Guaira, Caracas and Deportivo Táchira all slipped up in the Venezuela Primera Division and allowed their direct rivals to reduce the gap at the top of each group. After they all won last week, all three sides endured bad days at the office.

Portuguesa hot on the heels of Tachira

Portuguesa beat Deportivo Táchira 2-0 in the top-of-the-table battle to seize the initiative and cut the gap at the top of Group Occidental to just one point with a game in hand.

Luis Annese put Portuguese in front after 16 minutes after good work from Jefferson Velazco and goalkeeper Diego Valdez.

Portuguesa, who had conceded just nine goals in their first 13 games, were happy to invite pressure and make sure they were solid at the back.

They had been beaten in their previous two games against Tachira but looked to be on the way to a crucial victory until Annese went from hero to zero when he was sent off in the 73rd minute.

However, Portuguesa managed to hold on and scored a second when Tachira midfielder Francisco Flores put the ball into his own net.

Portuguesa won their ninth game of the group stages, keeping their sixth clean sheet, and they are now just a point behind Tachira with a game in hand.


Estudiantes de Mérida one point off the top

Estudiantes de Mérida got their seventh win from their last 10 games after beating Zulia 2-1. Angel Urdaneta scored his first goal for the club in the eight minute with a screamer from 30 yards out.

Things got worse for Zulia when youngster Michael Maldonado received a red card after 21 minutes.

Just before half-time, Ronaldo Rivas doubled the hosts’ lead. Angel Faria gave Zulia some hope with a goal with 13 minutes remaining, but he couldn’t prevent them losing their eighth game of the season.


Group Occidental results and table

Estudiantes de Merida 2-1 Zulia

Zamora 1-0 Hnos. Colmenarez

Portuguesa 2-0 Deportivo Táchira


Caracas’ lead shrinks

In Group Oriental, substitute Jholvis Acevedo scored in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw for  Metropolitanos and end Caracas’ run of three successive wins.

A free kick from Jorge Echeverría put Caracas in front after nine minutes and it looked like it was going to be a simple win for Noel Sanvicente’s side. Metropolitanos then had Facundo Moreira sent off in the second half to strengthen Caracas’ position.

But defender Eduardo Ferreira was then dismissed for the group leaders and they were punished in the dying seconds by a goal from Acevedo in the 93rd minute.

Caracas’ lead was reduced to three points after Monagas beat bottom side LALA with goals from Franklin Gonzalez, Albert Zambrano at first half and Juan Carlos Ortiz.

LALA have lost 10 of their last 11 games and are rooted to the bottom with eight points.

Elsewhere, Joel “La Bicicleta” Infante scored for Atlético Venezuela to give them a 1-0 win against  UCV 1-0. It was Atlético Venezuela’s third straight victory.


Group Oriental results and table:

Metropolitanos 1-1 Caracas

Monagas 3-0 LALA

Atlético Venezuela 1-0 Universidad Central de Venezuela


Late drama in Group Central

In Group Central, Edwar Brancho scored in the 94th minute to stun Deportivo La Guaira in a 3-2 win for Yaracuyanos.

In a thrilling, compelling contest, Omar Perdomo gave Yaracuyanos the lead after six minutes but Charlis Ortiz levelled midway through the first-half.

The majority of the action occurred in the last 20 minutes where there were three goals and a red card. Adrian Martinez put the visitors in front before Gustavo Gonzalez equalised with 10 minutes remaining.

Ortiz was then sent off with two minutes remaining, and in the last minute of the game, Brancho found the net to cut La Guaira’s lead to just one point.

Gran Valencia then looked like they were going to be frustrated by Puerto Cabello but in dramatic circumstances, scored the winner in the 90th minute with a goal from Dimas Rafael Meza. The goal was enough to take advantage of Deportivo La Guaira’s defeat and close the gap at the top to a single point.


Group Central results and table

Gran Valencia 1-0 Puerto Cabello

Deportivo Lara 1-1 Aragua

Yaracuyanos 3-2 La Guaira

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.@SantaFe begin their #LigaBetPlayDimayor campaign tonight with a trip away to @JaguaresdeCord. 🔜

Former Wigan and Fulham striker Hugo Rodallega could make his first appearance for #SantaFe since returning to Colombia earlier this month.

#LigaDimayor 🇨🇴
https://thegeniusplaybook.com/liga-betplay-dimayor-returns-everything-you-need-to-know/

The #LigaProfesional returns. 🇦🇷

Defending #TorneoBinance champions @BocaJrsOficial were worthy winners last season, holding off a strong challenge from @RacingClub. Here’s their title-winning year in numbers. 👇

Can they repeat in 2023?

#BocaJuniors

🏈 Elite QBs
🏈 Game-changing skill players
🏈 Stacked rosters
🏈 #SuperBowl spot on the line

We’ve used @NextGenStats to analyze #SFvsPHI and #CINvsKC – two incredible, mouthwatering matchups.

#NFLPlayoffs

.@USC_Hoops upsets No. 8 @UCLAMBB. 🚨

A huge performance from Boogie Ellis (31 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists). He’s averaged 18.3 points per game in his last five, ranking him in the 98th percentile of all #NCAA players. 🔥

#Bruins/#Trojans shot charts below. 👇

2

USC Men’s Basketball @USC_Hoops

FINAL: USC 77, UCLA 64

BEAT. THE. BRUINS ✔️

#FightOn | @WellsFargo

🏀 No. 8 @UCLAMBB (17-3, 8-1) 𝙖𝙩
🏀 @USC_Hoops (14-6, 6-3)

A rivalry matchup with #USC will test their mettle, but #UCLA’s offensive rating (113.4) and defensive rating (90.0) makes them outliers in the #Pac12.

#Bruins | #Trojans

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