Belo Horizonte, Jun 22 : Venezuela head coach Rafael Dudamel said that the Vinotinto "cannot afford to fail" against Bolivia on Sunday if they hope to progress to the knockout stage of the Copa America in Brazil.
Venezuela drew with Peru and Brazil in their first two matches and can book a place in the last eight with a victory in Belo Horizonte."We have to show that we are better," Dudamel told a news conference here. "It's a great opportunity to take a firm step forward. It's simple: we cannot afford to fail. The team has to know how to take on the responsibility of needing to play well to advance."
"We know what we are capable of and that we have what it takes to win but at the same time we have to respect a rival that has great quality."Dudamel said there were doubts about the availability of MIkel Villanueva and Yordan Osorio for the clash at the Mineirao stadium as both players recover from illness."We're going to wait until the morning [of the match], and will look at the doctor's report to know who will be fit to play," he said.
Venezuela are currently third in Group A, two points behind both Brazil and Peru. Bolivia are last in the group with two losses in as many matches.The top two teams from each of the three groups will advance to the quarterfinals, as will the two best third-placed teams.Dudamel ruled out speculation that he could quit his position after the Copa America to manage at club level.
"I'm fully committed to the team, the players, the federation... until the end of 2022 World Cup qualifying period and I hope nothing interrupts that," he added.