Josef Martinez showed off a glimpse of his scintillating club form on the international stage Saturday afternoon, finding the back of the net as Venezuela beat Bolivia 3-1 to advance to the Copa América quarterfinals.
The Atlanta United marksman and reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP has been behind Jose Salomon Rondon in the pecking order up top for La Vinotinto, but came on as a 72nd-minute substitute on Saturday and iced the game with a glancing header in the 87th minute, just a few minutes after Bolivia halved Venezuela's lead.
Two other MLSers also featured for Venezuela, with RSL winger Jefferson Savarino and D.C. United defensive midfielder Junior Moreno both going the full 90. LA Galaxy fullback Rolf Feltscher, the other current MLS player on the team, remained on the bench.
The result ensured a second-place finish for Venezuela in Group A. They will await the result of Sunday's Group B games to learn their quarterfinal opponents, the second-placed team in that group. Paraguay can clinch that spot with a win over Colombia, setting up a potential reunion between Martinez and former ATLUTD running mate Miguel Almiron.
Portland's Andy Polo also went the full 90 for Peru in the other Group A game on Saturday, but with a decidedly different result as La Blanquirroja were played off the field in a 5-0 defeat to hosts and favorites Brazil. Seattle's Raul Ruidiaz and NYCFC's Alex Callens did not get off the bench for Peru.
Elsewhere in Saturday's international action, a pair of MLS players featured as their countries picked up results in the opening round of African Cup of Nations group play. Montreal Impact midfielder Micheal Azira went the full 90 as Uganda sprung one of the first surprises of the tournament with a 2-0 win against DR Congo. Minnesota United right back Romain Metanire also went the distance as Madagascar tied Guinea 2-2 in their tournament debut.