Peru gave a blow of authority this Tuesday to beat Paraguay 2-0 and secure fifth place in the South American qualifiers, which gives them the right to play, next June, the playoffs for the Qatar World Cup 2022 in front of an Asian representative between Australia and the United Arab Emirates.
La Blanquirroja sealed a solid victory at the National Stadium in Lima with a goal from the Italian-Peruvian striker Gianluca Lapadula and another from midfielder Yoshimar Yotún.
In this way, it reached 24 points that consolidated it in fifth place in the final classification of the South American qualifiers, behind Ecuador, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil, which also left Colombia and Chile, who dreamed of with reaching the playoffs.
Before a National Stadium packed with spectators who did not stop cheering throughout the match, the team led by the Argentine Ricardo Gareca came out to play at full speed, with the ball leaning to the right, where the creative Christian Cueva moved, the figure party absolute.
Turned into a gale, Peru opened the account only after 4 minutes of play after receiving an extraordinary high pass from Cueva that disconcerted the rival defenders by moving to the left and yielding to Lapadula, who gave a subtle touch to the ball, which hit the left post before entering the goal defended by Silva.
Peru maintained its commitment to go ahead against a Paraguay that in the following minutes looked disconcerted by the early goal, but was about to take advantage of a mistake by Yotún with a shot by Ferreira that crashed into the crossbar defended by Gallese.
The locals maintained their offensive intention and at 16 Lapadula failed when trying to connect with his right leg a center crossed by Yotún with the entire goal at his disposal.
However, in the following minutes Paraguay advanced their lines and managed to cut the Peruvian creative circuit to balance the actions and took the risk away from their goal, although they did not have options to match the account.
In the final stretch of the first half, Peru took a second wind and again went to the front until at 41 Cueva appeared again to control a ball, leave the way for a rival with pure magic and yield to Flores, who crossed from the left a high ball that Yotún connected with a half scissors to increase figures.
Peru could well have won the third goal in the minutes of addition, but defender Callens failed with the goal at full disposal, after Lapadula crashed another header on a post after receiving a cross from Yotún.
Already in the second half, Paraguay sought to prevent the score against from increasing by resorting to repeated fouls that interrupted the game, while Peru tried to control the ball, always with Cueva as the driving force behind all their actions.
At 63′, Peru moved the ball from side to side and Cueva failed to crown his great performance of the day in front of goal after a poisoned cross that Trauco crossed.
In the following minutes, aware that he was one step away from winning the coveted fifth place, which also gave him the option of qualifying for Russia 2018, he controlled the actions, cut off Paraguay’s offensive attempts and tried to take some other risky options .
When 82 minutes were played, Lapadula was about to seal the win but his header after a high cross from Cueva burst on the crossbar after a stretch from goalkeeper Silva, while the entered Varela also wasted another great option to extend the account by not being able to beat goalkeeper Silva.
After the victory in the last round of the South American qualifiers, Peru will play their pass to the World Cup in Qatar next June against the fifth Asian team.
2 – Peru: Pedro Gallese, Luis Advíncula, Alexander Callens, Carlos Zambrano (m.86, Christian Ramos), Miguel Trauco, Renato Tapia, Yoshimar Yotun (m.68, Horacio Calcaterra), Sergio Peña (m.64, Christopher González), Edison Flores , Christian Cueva (m.86, Gabriel Costa) and Gianluca Lapadula (m.86, Alex Varela).
Coach: Ricardo Gareca
0 -Paraguay: Antony Silva, Robert Rojas, Fabián Balbuena, Junior Alonso (m.58, Arturo Torres), Omar Alderete, Richard Sánchez (m.58, Jesús Medina), Andrés Cubas, Richard Ortiz, Óscar Romero (m.72, David Colman) , Julio Enciso and Sebastian Ferreira (d.72, Angel Romero)
Coach: Guillermo Barros Schelotto
Goals: 1-0, Lapadula (m. 4); 2-0, Yotún (m. 41);
Referee: Argentine Fernando Rapallini showed a yellow card to Lapadula, Rojas and Ortiz
Incidents: match of the last day of the South American qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, played at the National Stadium in Lima, before some 50,000 spectators