We shut down Colombia's stars - Venezuela coach Sanvicente

Topics

Venezuela coach Noel Sanvicente said their game-plan to shut down Colombia's play makers paid off at the Copa America.

Noel Sanvicente said his Venezuela side performed admirably to quell their more-fancied opponents Colombia at the Copa America on Sunday.

Salomon Rondon scored a 60th-minute goal which saw Venezuela collect all three points at the Estadio El Teniente - giving them a buoyant start to their Group C campaign.

Sanvicente said his side were wary of silencing the influence of Real Madrid star James Rodriguez, Chelsea man Juan Cuadrado and Monaco striker Radamel Falcao.

"We knew it was a difficult game, so we had to be ordered," Sanvicente told a news conference.

"The keys were giving some information to the players. For instance, Cuadrado usually wins when dribbling.

"The same for James Rodriguez, he can't [be allowed to] think calmly, otherwise he can put us in trouble.

"And then we tried to prevent Falcao to be in contact with the ball. The idea was performing these concepts well."

Sanvicente said he instructed his players to disallow Colombia space in their attacking half, and was particularly pleased full-backs Pablo Armero and Camilo Zuniga did not have an influence on the result.

"We were aware as well of Armero and Zuniga's external runs," the 50-year-old said.

"Therefore we built this defence, trying to be two against one in order to not them let think.

"The team was reinforcing as the game was running.

"We took our chance.

"As they were the favourite team they put many strikers and we had to battle it with more defence.

"Thank God everything runs well and we got three very important points."

Sanvicente dedicated the win to their fans at home in the north of the continent.

"We wanted to bring a smile to our people in Venezuela," he added.

"We wanted to give it back [for] all the support we're receiving.

"It was a difficult game as it was the beginning of the Copa America.

"Thank God we could offer them a triumph, so they can celebrate. But this is just the very beginning.

"Our aim is still the same - we want to go through [to the quarter-finals] and we're convinced that with hard work we can do it."