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Venezuela

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Japan win in Vahid Halilhodzic's debut; South Korea held to draw

Shinji Okazaki and Keisuke Honda scored second-half goals as Japan beat Tunisia 2-0 on Friday in their first game under new coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

Halilhodzic brought Honda and Okazaki into the game early in the second half, and the moves paid off.

Okazaki scored on a header off a Honda cross in the 78th minute, and Honda doubled the advantage five minutes later when he picked up a loose ball and fired past goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia from close range.

Halilhodzic, who guided Algeria to the last...

South American teams will support Sepp Blatter for re-election, report says

Sepp Blatter can count on the support of the CONMEBOL federation.

ASUNCION, Paraguay -- The countries which make up the South American football confederation have decided to support Sepp Blatter in FIFA's presidential elections, a source familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement by the executive committee of CONMEBOL had not been made. The decision was reached after the 10-nation governing body in South America heard proposals from Blatter and other candidates on...

 By Tim Vickery

Venezuelan football making strides both at home and internationally

Deportivo Tachira's Carlos Javier Lopez celebrates scoring against Cerro Porteno in the Copa Libertadores.

It has been a fine few days for Venezuelan football.

Last week, at the fifth attempt, the national team won its first match under new coach Noel Sanvicente, the first victory since beating Peru 3-2 in a World Cup qualifier back in September 2013. Last Wednesday's Sanvincente team won away to Honduras by the same scoreline. It might have been only a friendly, but it was a stern test against opponents out to impress their new coach, Jorge Luis Pinto -- the Colombian who did such impressive work with...

 By Tim Vickery

Walter Roque -- a Uruguayan pioneer who served South American football

Uruguayan and South American football as a whole owe much to the work down by Walter Roque, on and off the pitch.

Walter Roque was hardly a household name all over the football world, but he was an important figure in South America, and his death last Tuesday at the age of 77 was a significant event. So much of the glorious history of the South American game can be told through his life story.

A small left winger, Roque was part of the Uruguay side that won the 1956 Copa America, and it is worth pausing to reflect on the significance of the sky blue shirt at that time.

Uruguay had won the World Cup twice,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA award Japan 3-0 forfeit victory after Venezuela selection error

Japan have been awarded a 3-0 win over Venezuela by FIFA after the South Americans fielded Salomon Rondon despite the striker being ineligible for the friendly.

The game in Yokohama on Sep. 9 ended as a 2-2 draw, though Rondon's appearance has caused football's governing body to act given that he was sent off late in Venezuela's 3-1 friendly defeat to South Korea on Sep. 5.

"We have heard from FIFA that Japan won't be affected negatively," AFP reports JFA technical director Hiromi Hara as telling...