Home Sports Ex-Premier League star sent off for KICKING opponent in face 20 minutes into Copa America opener – before his country goes on to lose first game

Ex-Premier League star sent off for KICKING opponent in face 20 minutes into Copa America opener – before his country goes on to lose first game

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Enner Valencia caught José Martínez with a very high foot in the face on Saturday
  • Former Premier League striker banned for extremely high tackle
  • His country scored after his dismissal, but could not hold out

A former Premier League striker was sent off at the Copa America on Saturday night after a horrific challenge on his opponent.

Ecuador faced Venezuela at the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium and went into halftime with a 1-0 lead after a goal from Brighton winger Jeremy Sarmiento.

But Sarmiento’s goal came after former West Ham and Everton striker Enner Valencia kicked an opponent in the face and received a red card in the 22nd minute.

The 34-year-old pounced on a ball in the air in the box, but was too late with his high challenge on José Martínez, leaving the Philadelphia Union midfielder in a heap.

Valencia soon received their marching orders following the VAR review.

Enner Valencia caught José Martínez with a very high foot in the face on Saturday

Martínez was baffled while the play was reviewed and Valencia was finally sent off.

Martínez was baffled while the play was reviewed and Valencia was finally sent off.

And his team would eventually suffer by playing one man down.

Venezuelan Jhonder Cádiz equalized the score with a lateral foot from outside the area in the 64th minute before Eduard Bello took the lead with a rebound 10 minutes later.

Valencia played for the Hammers from 2014 to 2017, scoring eight goals in 54 league games.

He was subsequently loaned to Everton for the second half of the 2016-17 campaign before moving to Mexican side UANL.

Valencia will now miss at least Ecuador's next match, when they face Jamaica next week.

Valencia will now miss at least Ecuador’s next match, when they face Jamaica next week.

The former West Ham striker played for the club from 2014 to 2017 and scored eight league goals.

The former West Ham striker played for the club from 2014 to 2017 and scored eight league goals.

Valencia currently plays in the Brazilian league Internacional.

This seems to be yours alone. second red card in his careerThe other comes from the Turkish giant Fernebache.

Unfortunately, the striker will now be suspended for at least the next match, which will be against Jamaica on Wednesday.

If Valencia receives a longer suspension for his challenge, he would also miss Ecuador’s match against Mexico next Sunday.

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