International Roundup: Savarino Shines at Copa America

The 2019 Copa America tournament kicked off on Friday in Brazil, with the hosts toppling Bolivia 3-0 in the tournament opener.  In the second match of the Group Stage, Real Salt Lake winger Jefferson Savarino started for Venezuela and played 69 minutes in a scoreless draw with Peru.

Savarino showed his dynamic flare on the wing throughout the match and nearly broke the deadlock in the 27th minute when he put a shot on frame that forced Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.  The second half saw more of the same, as Savarino put Jhon Murillo in on goal with a through ball in the 58th minute, but Murillo was flagged offside.  One minute later, Savarino missed high on a shot from just outside the box.  In the 69th minute, he was subbed out, but neither team was able to break the stalemate and match ended in a 0-0 draw.

Venezuela sits tied for second in the group with Peru, trailing only Brazil.  The top two countries in each group the top two third-place finishers will advance to the Quarterfinals.

Venezuela will take on Brazil in the second Group Stage match for both teams on Tuesday before wrapping up the round-robin play against Bolivia on Saturday, June 22.

Rusnák Goes 90 For Slovakia in 5-1 Win Over Azerbaijan

Slovakia moved into second place in Group E for 2020 UEFA European Championships qualifying on Tuesday with a 5-1 win over Azerbaijan in third match of the tournament for Slovakia.  Albert Rusnák played 90 minutes in the victory, but did not figure into the scoring.

Rusnák, starting on the right wing in Slovakia’s 4-3-3 formation, nearly set up a goal in the 35th minute.  With Slovakia already leading 3-1, Rusnák sent a cross in to Robert Bozenik, but the ensuing header missed wide.  Later in the second half, Rusnák was played in behind the opposing defense, but was flagged offside on the play.

Slovakia is second in Group E through three matches with a 2-1-0 record with three of the final five matches coming at home.  The Group leaders, Hungary, have played four matches.  Rusnák has one goal and one assist after starting all three matches.  Slovakia’s next matches will come on September 6 and 9, hosting Croatia and playing away against Hungary, respectively.