Salomon Rondon scored twice to help Venezuela beat the United States for the first time and become his country's all-time leading goalscorer after a 3-0 win that will send Rafael Dudamel's side into the Copa America on a high.
West Brom striker Rondon, who has been linked with a transfer away from the Baggies in recent weeks, put himself very much in the shop window with a match-winning display in which he also provided an assist for Jefferson Savarino to score Venezuela's second as a sorry USA side were torn apart.
USA coach Gregg Berhalter saw his players lose the first game of his time in charge three days earlier when they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Jamaica and will have been concerned by a defensive horror show in which they conceded three goals inside 20 first-half minutes.
Venezuela capitalizes on USA's mistake to put them up 1-0 in the 16th minute. pic.twitter.com/FQb4LbUDUg— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 9, 2019
Venezuela's opener came courtesy of calamitous USA defending as goalkeeper Zack Steffen gifted a clearance to Yangel Herrera who fed Jhon Murillo and he laid the ball back to Rondon for a bundled shot into the net.
It was Rondon's flicked header that allowed Savarino to go through on goal moments later, the Real Salt Lake winger scoring at the second time of asking after his first shot came back off the post.
¡GOOOOOOLLLL DE VENEZUELA! Savarino marca el segundo para la Vinotinto aprovechando un rebote en el poste tras un disparo de él mismo.@USMNT🇺🇸 0-2 🇻🇪@SeleVinotinto— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) June 9, 2019
Disfruta EN VIVO 👉 https://t.co/jb9k29kG1v pic.twitter.com/1Ui1DPkVxk
Rondon timed a run superbly on 36 minutes and brought Tomas Rincon's long ball under control before composing himself and rattling a left-footed shot into the corner of the net, beating Steffen at his near post from close range.
Venezuela makes it 3-0 in the first half 😬 pic.twitter.com/NtH3iyw8Oa— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 9, 2019
The hosts failed to improve after half-time, mustering just four shots across the course of the game, and Berhalter will demand better when they take on Guyana in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in under two weeks' time.
Meanwhile, Venezuela will go into their Copa America opener against Peru on Saturday in high spirits after a historic win and an unforgettable night for their in-form striker.