Uruguay vs. Venezuela | Copa America Centenario Match Preview

It’s a must-win scenario for Uruguay as they meet Venezuela on Thursday night (7:30 pm ET; FS1/UniMás/UDN) at Lincoln Financial Field.

This Luis Suarez-less Uruguay side are coming off a loss to Mexico in a game that was one of the best so far in Copa America Centenario. Diego Godin scored what many thought would be a goal that would lead the team to splitting the points, but Rafa Marquez had other ideas as he scored the game-winner in the 85th minute as Mexico won 3-1.

Meanwhile, Venezuela are coming off a massive win against Jamaica that was a must-win scenario for La Vinotinto. If they have hopes of advancing to the knockout rounds, a point here would be a big help.

Tempered Approach

With their play on the field a little bit lacking, Uruguay did not hold back their emotions towards the referee. Diego Godin got in a shouting match with the referee prior to the set piece that resulted in Rafa Marquez’s winner, while many players approached the official after the goal as they felt a handball was missed. Edinson Cavani and Jose Maria Gimenez both approached Enrique Caceres after the match and voiced the displeasure. If they hope to beat Venezuela, a calmer temperament could come in handy.

Can It Happen?

In a must-win match, Venezuela came through. The means by which they accomplished that feat weren’t the most impressive, as Jamaica seemed like the more likely team to score in the second half despite being down a man. Now comes a much tougher match against a continental rival. The good news is that they have shown they can get results against Uruguay in the past. During the last World Cup qualifying cycle, Venezuela went down to Montevideo and got a 1-1 draw against a team that included Luis Suarez. That team also included Godin, Cavani and Egidio Arevalo Rios, among others, who will likely take the field in Philadelphia. If Venezuela can get a similar result, they might just be able to squeeze past Uruguay and into the quarterfinals.

Stand And Deliver

There’s no doubt that Suarez is a big loss for Uruguay, but they do have plenty of attacking talent to make up for it. It just so happens that the talent that was on the field against Mexico didn’t produce. Their only goal came off a set piece from a center back, as Cavani missed a big chance that should have resulted in a goal while Nicolas Lodeiro, Diego Rolan and Carlos Sanchez failed to produce many quality chances. Those three players will need to step up if they have any hope of surviving long enough in this tournament to bring Suarez back.