LIMA, Peru, July 9 (Reuters) - Two players were sent off as Copa America hosts Peru beat Venezuela 3-1 on Friday, finally giving the fanatical home crowd something to shout about after their disappointing drawn first outing against Bolivia.
Jefferson Farfan put Peru ahead in the first half before
Nolberto Solano added a second in the 61st minute and set up the
third for Santiago Acasiete 11 minutes later.
Massimo Margiotta scored Venezuela's consolation in the
Group A match.
Peru captain Claudio Pizarro was sent off for a second
bookable offence in the 86th minute while Venezuela had been
reduced to 10 men in the 64th after midfielder Miguel Mea Vitali
suffered a similar fate.
Peru took early control the match but suffered from their
usual failings in front of goal until Farfan followed through to
score in the 34th minute after Venezuelan goalkeeper Gilberto
Angelucci failed to hold the ball.
Chilean referee Ruben Selman gave the 19-year-old, who
signed for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven two weeks ago, a yellow card
for taking his shirt off as he celebrated his goal, breaking
recently-implemented FIFA rules against stripping off.
Even after their goal, Peru, held 2-2 by underdogs Bolivia
on Tuesday, continued to squander chances.
Andres Mendoza was the main culprit as he failed to
capitalise on the good service from Pizarro and playmaker
Solano finally scored the second from 10 metres in the 61st
minute as he slotted the ball in the right corner after he
connected with a low pass from Mendoza.
Defender Santiago Acasiete added a third goal in the 72nd
minute with a terrific diving header after Solano's swerving
Venezuela grabbed a goal back two minutes later, catching
Peru on the counter attack with a dipping long range shot by
substitute Margiotta that found keeper Oscar Ibanez off his
The Red Wines also had a second goal disallowed for after
referee Selman harshly awarded a foul on keeper Ibanez.
Peru, who have four points from two games, are all but
mathematically qualified for the last eight.
Venezuela have no points but still have an outside chance of
qualifying as one of the best third-placed teams if they beat
Bolivia in their final game on Monday.