Cesar Eduardo Gonzalez scored in the second half to help Venezuela defeat Ecuador 1-0 in the Copa America on Saturday, reaching first place in the tough Group B.

Gonzalez struck a powerful right-footer from the top of the area in the 61st minute, giving the Venezuelans the lead in a group which also has Paraguay and South American powerhouse Brazil.

Venezuela has four points and is in good position to advance to the second round. Brazil and Paraguay, which drew 2-2 earlier Saturday, have two points each, while Ecuador remains with one point ahead of the final round of group play.