Dogged Venezuela hold Colombia

Colombia's players argue with Venezuela's players during their Conmebol Copa America 2021 football tournament group phase match at the Olympic Stadium in Goiania, Brazil, on 17 June 2021AFP

Venezuela held out under intense pressure in a fractious local derby against Colombia to secure their first point at the Copa America after a 0-0 draw in Goiania on Thursday.

Goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez made a string of fine saves, particularly in the closing stages, to keep out the Colombians, who saw a late Miguel Borja goal ruled out for offside.

Colombia also finished the game with 10 men after Luis Diaz was sent off deep into injury time.

Earlier, Venezuela’s Jose Martinez got away with a yellow card after striking Mateus Uribe -- who was also booked for protesting -- in the face, although he was not looking at the Colombian when he did so.

Colombia finished the game with 23 shots to just two -- including none on target -- from Venezuela but the “Red Wine” held out for a much needed point.

Venezuela were still severely depleted from a Covid outbreak in their camp that deprived the team of eight players in their 3-0 defeat to hosts Brazil on Sunday.

The point put Colombia top of Group B ahead of Brazil’s clash with Peru later in the day.