Last-second goal gives Venezuela a draw with Ecuador in Copa America

Sports Desk, Jun 20 (EFE).- Gonzalo Plata scored what looked to be a golden goal for Ecuador three minutes after coming on as a substitute in Sunday’s Copa America match with Venezuela, but Ronald Hernandez equalized in stoppage time and the sides split the points.

Ecuador began the contest at Rio de Janeiro’s Nilton Santos stadium anxious to get back on track after losing their last two World Cup qualifiers and their Copa America opener.

Ayrton Preciado put the Ecuadorians ahead with a goal in the 38th minute only to see Edson Castillo bring Venezuela level six minutes into the second half.

The teams were still deadlocked at 1-1 when Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro turned to Plata, coming off a season when he helped Sporting CP win their first Portuguese top-flight title in 19 years.

Plata repaid his manager’s confidence with a goal on the counter in the 71st minute and Ecuador seemed likely to claim all 3 points until Venezuelan sub Hernandez scored with a thunderous header in the first minute of stoppage time.

The result leaves Venezuela third in Group B on 2 points from three matches, while Ecuador are fourth with a point after two games.

Brazil lead the group with 6 points, 2 ahead of Colombia. EFE sd/dr

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