Colombia hasn’t began its Sudamericano Sub-20 second
round campaign on a positive note, losing 2-1 to host nation Venezuela.
The Colombians were the much stronger side in the first half and took the lead when Elkin Blanco fired a great shot over the head of keeper Rafael Romo in the 13th minute.
Argentinian referee Saúl Laverni then began to have a negative influence on the match, denying two Colombian penalty calls before allowing Venezuela to try their luck from the spot following a foul from keeper Camilo Vargas.
Jonathan Del Valle struck low into the right corner with Vargas diving the other way.
Venezuela went on to take the lead on the hour mark, albeit controversially. Venezuela’s counter-attack seemingly left a Colombian fouled but referee Laverni waved play on and Carlos Fernández beat Vargas for 2-1.
No less than six Colombians were yellow-carded against two bookings for Venezuela. Colombia, who showed clean, attacking play in the first half, appeared to be deflated by the referee’s unpredictable actions in the second.
Colombia, now placed fifth in the group, plays its next match against last-placed Uruguay on Monday.