Venezuela GK slams media after upset over Mexico

Venezuela goalkeeper Rafael Romo said his team had been “underestimated” after their 1-0 Copa América win over Mexico on Wednesday, criticizing what he said was “arrogance” and “ignorance” from Mexican media ahead of the clash.

Romo, 34, saved an 87th minute penalty from Mexico substitute Orbelín Pineda — after Salomón Rondón had earlier given Venezuela the lead from the spot — to make it two wins out of two as they topped Group B.

Venezuela are now assured of a place in the Copa América quarterfinals ahead of their last group game against Jamaica in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, while Mexico will need to beat Ecuador in Glendale, Arizona, to progress.

“Mexico are a great team, who play well,” Romo told TUDN. “We have the humility to recognize our opponents. We don’t have that arrogance, that ignorance that a lot of Mexican journalists have, who underestimated us.

“We came here to do our jobs, and we got three points which are very valuable for us.”

Venezuela had failed to beat Mexico in 13 matches going into Wednesday’s game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

Before the game, the front page of Mexican sports newspaper Record featured the headline “Venezuela, I am your father” — with an image of Darth Vader — highlighting Mexico’s “absolute dominance” in previous meetings.

Venezuela were eliminated at the group stage at the 2021 Copa América, finishing bottom of their group, while in 2019 their were beaten by Argentina in the quarterfinals.

They have been in impressive form in recent months, and have lost just once in their last eight competitive games.

“I’m happy that we were able to give some joy to the people in Venezuela. We played for that,” Venezuela coach Fernando Batista said. “But we need to remain calm and keep our feet on the ground.”

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