Venezuela and Ecuador: disappointing draw

Venezuela and Ecuador played a truncated game and remained 0-0 this Thursday (16/11), in the fifth round of the South American Qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. At home and with a crowd that almost filled the Monumental de Maturín, the Venezuelans were uninspired and depended on flashes from Soteldo to get close to the goal. Ecuador, despite being closed and making little progress, had a goal disallowed for offside right at the beginning, a shot by Caicedo from midfield. However, nothing more. In the end, a goalless and fair draw.

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Venezuela, with the draw, went to eight points. Thus, they remain in the classification zone for the World Cup. Ecuador closes the fifth round with five points (it should have been eight, but the team lost three points for using a player irregularly in the last qualifier).

Ecuador's Kevin Rodriguez (in yellow) shares the ball with Venezuelan defender Wilker Angel –

Ecuador’s Kevin Rodriguez (in yellow) shares the ball with Venezuelan defender Wilker Angel –

Photo: Federico Parra/AFP via Getty Images Image / Jogada10

Little emotion

After four minutes, Ecuador scored a goal. But canceled by VAR. Pacho adjusted and Cifuentes scored the goal. The referee signaled offside. However, VAR only confirmed the marking on the field after three minutes: Pacho was offside by about two centimeters. After that, the first half was an anticlimax. The Venezuelan fans, who almost filled the Monumental (52 thousand), saw their team dominate, but nothing scared Alex Domínguez’s goal. A shot from Soteldo in the 35th minute and a cross from the same Soteldo that came to nothing shortly afterwards. And that’s it. Ecuador, nothing effective. Thus, with the defenses nullifying the attacks, the game went into halftime at a dull 0-0.

The second half at least started with a move that deserved applause. Thus, in an Ecuador attack, Caicedo caught the midfield and sent it towards the goal, trying to cover up goalkeeper Romo, who was ahead. He passed very close. Venezuela only got the crowd going when Soteldo had the ball.


5th Round of South American Qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup

Data: 16/11/2023

Local: Monumental, Maturín (VEN)

VENEZUELA: Rome; Gonzalez, Makoun (Ferraresi, 39’/2oT), Angel and Navarro; Jose Martinez (Rincon, 38’/2oT), Herrera (Otero, 12’/2oT), Casseres (Castillo, 38’/2oT) and Samuel Sosa (Machis, 25’/2oT); Soteldo and Knee. Technician: Fernando Batista

ECUADOR: Alex Dominguez; Precious, Felix Torres, Hincapié and Pacho; Cifuentes (Ortiz, 47’/2oT), Alan Franco, Caicedo and Kendry Paez (Mena, 25’/2oT); Sornoza (Jhojan Julio, 41’/2oT) and Kevin Rodriguez (Campana, 25’/2oT). Technician: Felix Sanchez

Referee: Juan Gabriel Benítez (PAR)

Assistants: Eduardo Cardozo and José Cuevas (PAR)

WAS: Carlos Benitez (PAR)

Yellow cards: Angel, Martínez (VEN); Hincapié, Cifuentes, Alan Franco (EQU)

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