Machis strikes power Venezuela into Copa quarter-finals

Soccer Football – Copa America Brazil 2019 – Group A – Bolivia v Venezuela – Mineirao Stadium, Belo Horizonte, Brazil – June 22, 2019 Venezuela’s Darwin Machis celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Washington Alves

BELO HORIZONTE (Reuters) – An impressive double from striker Darwin Machis helped Venezuela book their place in the Copa America quarter-finals with a comfortable 3-1 win over Bolivia on Saturday, qualifying as runners-up in Group A behind Brazil.

Machis got Venezuela off to a perfect start after goalless draws against Peru and Brazil by powering in a header in the second minute and he scored a spectacular goal early in the second half by lashing 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 equalizer proved short-lived as Josef Martinez hit a third for Venezuela 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.

Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond

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