Tuesday, July 23, 2019 | ePaper
Guerrero, Farfan put Peru on brink of Copa America knock-outs
AFP, Rio De Janeiro :
Peru's Andy Polo (center) fights for the ball with Bolivia's Marcelo Martins Moreno (right) during a Copa America Group A soccer match at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Tuesday.
Captain Paolo Guerrero and forward Jefferson Farfan each scored one and created another as Peru took a huge step towards qualifying for the Copa America quarter-finals with a 3-1 Group A victory over Bolivia on Tuesday.
Bolivia took the lead from the penalty spot when Marcelo Moreno sent goalkeeper Pedro Gallese the wrong way from 12 yards.
But Guerrero equalized before half-time and Farfan gave Peru a deserved lead before Edison Flores put the seal on Peru's victory in stoppage time at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana stadium.
"The most important thing is that the team gave everything. We were hesitant at the beginning and without doing much, Bolivia had a penalty," said Guerrero.
"That annoyed us a lot and we lost our serenity, but thanks to God I managed to score and that calmed us down."
With four points from two games ahead of their final group encounter with hosts Brazil, Peru can rest assured that no team has ever failed to qualify for the knockout rounds with that total since the current 12-team format was adopted in 1993.
Bolivia face a must-win clash with Venezuela in their final game to stand any hope of reaching the quarter-finals.
"We have to go and play for it against Venezuela," said Bolivia coach Eduardo Villegas.
"With the same ingredients that we approached this match: aggression, the desire to attack our opponents' goal, a high press - we'll try to win the game, it's our last chance."
Peru took control of the match early on with pacey right-winger Andy Polo carving out the opening chance, although his left-footed shot was tame and easily saved by Carlos Lampe.
Farfan earned a free-kick that he then fired high and wide on 20 minutes and at that time Peru had enjoyed 70 percent possession.
But Bolivia went ahead after Fernando Saucedo's volley cannoned off Carlos Zambrano's arm inside the penalty area, with Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointing to the spot after a lengthy delay to consult the video assistant referee.
Moreno made no mistake, sending Gallese the wrong way with his stuttering run-up on 28 minutes.