La Paz, Jun 3 (EFE).- Marcelo Martins Moreno had a double here Thursday to power Bolivia 3-1 over Venezuela in the South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.
Their first victory of the competition lifted the home side from 10th to 7th in the standings, with 4 points from five matches, while Venezuela are second-from-bottom on 3 points.
Martins Moreno, Bolivia’s all-time leading scorer, put La Verde up 1-0 with a goal in the 5th minute and only the post prevented the 33-year-old striker from doubling the advantage.
Instead, Venezuela drew level in the 26th minute thanks to Jhon Chancellor, who knocked in the rebound after goalkeeper Carlos Lampe turned aside a potent free kick.
Bolivia flew forward to try to restore their edge, leaving spaces at the back, but the visitors were unable to take advantage and the teams went to the break knotted at 1-1.
The pattern persisted into the second half, as every Bolivian attack gave rise to a Venezuelan counter until Diego Bejarano headed-in a Juan Carlos Arce corner at the hour mark to make it 2-1 for the hosts.
Bolivia were relentless from that point on and Martins completed the double in the 83rd minute with his 24th international goal.
Both teams will be in action again next Tuesday, when Bolivia are away to Chile, currently sixth, and Venezuela host 5th-place Uruguay. EFE