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Colombia, Venezuela to stage friendly at Raymond James

Teams meet Tuesday with sights set on next year’s qualifiers for 2022 World Cup
Colombia forward Luis Muriel (19) reacts after scoring his second goal during the first half of a friendly against Brazil on Friday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Colombia faces off against Venezuela Tuesday at Raymond James Stadium. [LYNNE SLADKY | AP]
Published Sep. 8

TAMPA — Billed as Partida de la Hermanda (Game of Brotherhood), Colombia will face off against Venezuela in a friendly at Raymond James Stadium on Tuesday.

The match is considered a tuneup for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which are set to begin for the South American group of international teams (CONMEBOL) in March of 2020.

Colombia routinely ranks as one of the world’s best. It reached the Round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup in Russia before losing on penalty kicks to England in the knockout round.

On Friday, Colombia and Brazil battled to a 2-2 draw at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. With Colombia ranked eighth and Brazil ranked second, the game drew a sellout crowd of more than 65,000. Luis Murriel scored twice for Colombia.

Meanwhile, Venezuela won its last friendly, a 3-0 win over the United States at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. Venezuela is the only South American team to have never qualified for the World Cup, but ranks 26th in the latest FIFA rankings. According to mlssoccer.com, Venezuela has named four MLS players to the team for the friendly: winger Jefferson Savarino (Real Salt Lake), defender Rolf Feltscher (L.A. Galaxy) and midfielders Junior Moreno (D.C. United) and Renzo Zambrano (Portland Timbers).

Gates open at 6:30 and the game kicks off at 8 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. For ticket information, visit http://raymondjamesstadium.com/colombia-vs-venezuela.

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