Following Argentina’s draw with Bolivia and Colombia’s win over Costa Rica, Group B of the 2011 Copa América began on Sunday, with two 0-0 draws. Venezuela did a superb job to hold Brazil in a match that interesting rather than exciting, with Ganso superbly marked throughout by the excellent Tomás Rincón and Franklin Lucena, and Paraguay and Ecuador then played out another goalless draw with Paraguay the better side, and Christian Benítez missing one incredible chance for Ecuador in the first half. The highlights, such as they are, are right here.
Copa América 2011, Group B, Sun 3rd July
Brazil 0 – 0 Venezuela
This is the first time Brazil and Venezuela have met at the Copa América without Brazil winning. Across all competitions, Brazil have scored over 4 goals a game on average in previous meetings.
Paraguay 0 – 0 Ecuador
You can follow the latest news from the selección in the buildup to the Copa América direct from Buenos Aires with HEGS on Twitter. If you’ve not signed up yet you can do so here. You can also join the official HEGS Facebook group, to keep up to date with the latest posts on the blog and discuss things with other fans. You’ll find it here. And remember to bookmark Hand Of Pod, our Argentine football podcast, or if you prefer you can subscribe to it on iTunes here.
I’ve been impressed with Venezuela more and more the last few years. Obviously we can’t get ahead of ourselves, because over the long haul they just don’t have the same talent as Brasil. But on a given day, any team in the bottom half of south america can go toe to toe, or even take out, any of the top teams. Still, I thought Brasil amost payed disinterested after that initial flurry to start.