Not much was expected from Venezuela at Copa America Centenario, but La Vinotinto have two wins from two games, including one over the most successful team in Copa America history.
Salomon Rondon's 36th-minute goal, which capped a wild sequence, was the difference, as Venezuela earned its second straight 1-0 win and all but secured a place in the knockout stage and eliminate the 15-time champion Celeste. Both were confirmed when Mexico beat Jamaica, clinching Venezuela and Mexico's place in the quarterfinals. Rondon tapped home a rebound off the crossbar after Alejandro Guerra tried to catch Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera off his line from from 50 yards out. Muslera recovered and tipped the shot off the bar, but Rondon, the West Brom forward, was first to the rebound.
Uruguay had chances to equalize, none better than Edinson Cavani's 90th minute look from 12 yards. Cavani worked himself into a wide-open position but put his simple chance wide of the right post. He missed a toe-poke attempt moments later.
Luis Suarez, who was reportedly ineligible for the match after being put on an injured list prior to the first kick, was livid when Uruguay used its third substitute on someone other than him. He was shown suiting up and warming up throughout the second half and with Uruguay needing a goal, but when Mathias Corujo entered, he gestured to manager Oscar Tabarez and punched the side of the dugout.
Uruguay closes group play vs. Jamaica in a meaningless match, while Venezuela meets Mexico with first place on the line in the finale on Monday.