Victorious coach Cesar Farias could not hide his delight after Venezuela booked their spot in the last four of the Copa America on Sunday.Goals from Oswaldo Vizcarrondo and Gabriel Cichero led Venezuela to a shock 2-1 victory over Chile in their quarter-final in San Juan, earning a semi-final place for the first time in their history.
Farias’ team remains unbeaten so far in the Copa and will meet Paraguay on Wednesday for the chance to make the final.
“We trained to play six matches and we did it, despite the fact that nobody took us into consideration,” Farias said.
“Venezuela have played against three World Cup teams and Ecuador, and haven’t lost against a single one.”
“Today we beat Chile, the revelation of the (World Cup) qualifiers, confirmed in South Africa. We proved that we can compete with the rest of South America.”
And having already come this far, Farias said his squad were determined to push on and claim Venezuela’s first major title.
“(The players) are not content with this and they are hoping to continue going forward,” Farias said.
“This experience also leaves us well-placed thinking about the next qualifying tournament, since our hope is to play the Brazil World Cup in 2014.”
Chilean coach Claudio Borghi dismissed claims that he had taken Venezuela lightly, and said he was proud of how his team fought to get a result.
“I don’t believe in luck, I believe in being able to do what you have to or not. Chile always wanted to win,” Borghi said.
“They always had the conviction that they could win the game. I’m going home sad, but not disappointed.”