Venezuela tops Honduras in friendly

Antony Lozano (pictured) scored Honduras' only goal in a 2-1 loss at Venezuela in an international friendly on February 11, 2015. (Photo: Mexsport)

BARINAS, Venezuela – Venezuela rallied to defeat 10-man Honduras for the second time in eight days, posting a 2-1 win in an international friendly on Wednesday at the Estadio Agustin Tovar.

The visitor, which fell 3-2 at home in the series opener last week, was reduced a player in the 32nd minute following Jorge Claros’ ejection for a second yellow card.

Before that, however, Honduras went ahead 1-0 in the 12th minute, when Antony Lozano netted off a header for his second goal in as many games.

Five minutes later, the Venezuelans offered a swift reply as Franklin Lucena struck for an equalizer that ignited a debate.  Argenis Gomez lofted a free kick into the Honduran penalty area from the right side that Gabriel Cichero headed into the six-yard box.  After Lucena bundled a shot towards the net, a Honduran defender got a foot on the ball, but it was judged to have crossed the goal line.

Second-half substitute Jhon Murillo capitalized on miscommunication in Honduras’ defense to notch the 57th minute game-winner.  A seemingly harmless ball took a bounce in the box 10-yards from the goal.  As goalkeeper Noel Valladares came off his line, seemingly surprised defender Johnny Leveron poked an attempted clearance towards his own net.  Murrillo, in his national team debut, reacted quickly and chested it home from two-yards out to make it 2-1.

Honduras is preparing to face French Guiana next month in a two-leg playoff that will decide the final 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifier.

February 11, 2015: Barinas, Venezuela – Estadio Agustin Tovar
Venezuela  2 (Franklin Lucena 17’; Jhon Murillo 57’)
Honduras  1 (Antony Lozano 12’)

Venezuela: Alain Baroja; Francisco Carabalí, Andrés Sánchez, Juan Fuenmayor (Luis Vargas 46’), Gabriel Cichero, Franklin Lucena, Arquimides Figuera, Argenis Gómez (Jhon Murillo 56'), Jesús Lugo (Luis González 46’), Edder Farías (Manuel Arteaga 63’), Richard Blanco (Aquiles Ocanto 83’)
TD: Noel Sanvicente

Honduras: Noel Valladares; Carlos Sánchez (Carlos Palacios 69’), Arnold Peralta (Edder Delgado 76'), Johnny Leverón, Wilmer Crisanto, Jorge Claros, Johnny Leveron, Romell Quioto (Carlos Discua 62’), Mario Martínez (Jorge Cardona 82'), Rubilio Castillo (Bryan Acosta 35’), Antony Lozano (Angel Tejeda 76')
TD: Jorge Luis Pinto

Referee: Diego Haro (Perú)