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2019 Copa América, Group Stage
  • Leonel Justiniano (82')
  • Darwin Machis (2', 55')
  • Josef Martínez (86')

Machis brace fires Venezuela into quarterfinals

An impressive double from striker Darwin Machis helped Venezuela book their place in the Copa America quarterfinals with a comfortable 3-1 win over Bolivia on Saturday, qualifying as runners-up in Group A behind hosts Brazil.

Machis got Venezuela off to a perfect start in Belo Horizonte by powering in a header in the second minute, scoring their first goal of the tournament after back-to-back goalless draws against Peru and Brazil.

Machis scored a spectacular goal to put his side further at ease early in the second half, bursting down the left wing on the counterattack and holding off three defenders before cutting inside to lash the ball into the net from just inside the area.

Bolivia pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute through Leonel Justiniano, but their hopes of grabbing an equaliser proved short-lived as Josef Martinez leapt to head in Venezuela's third three minutes later.

Venezuela finished second in Group A on five points; Brazil came first with seven, with Peru third on four and Bolivia last without a point.

Venezuela have qualified for the quarterfinals in four of their past five appearances in the Copa America, with their best effort coming in 2011 when they reached the semifinals but lost to Paraguay on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

In the final eight, they will meet the Group B runners-up, which could be Argentina, Qatar or Paraguay, who all play their final games Sunday.