Venezuela vs Peru – Maturin, Venezuela (2-2)
The Peruvian national team had lost every game in Venezuela since the start of the century (4 qualifiers, 1 Copa America). While it is an improvement over the last few matches in Venezuela, La Blanquiroja saw this game as a must-win and will be disappointed to come away with a draw even after coming from 2 goals behind. Mikel Villanueva opened the scoring for the hosts in the 23rd minute with a headed goal from a rebound off the woodwork. Romulo Otero doubled the lead in the 39th minute from a free kick. Peru’s goalkeeper Pedro Gallese will have felt he could have done more to stop it from going in.
In the second half, Peru immediately scored in the 46th minute from Andre Carillo. Cueva receives a pass from Edison Flores and gives Carillo a good first touch pass for him to put it on the left post and in. Peru got the equalizer from Paolo Guerrero in the 64th minute from a corner. Paolo Guerrero wins the aerial battle and heads it into the bottom right corner. Christian Cueva missed an open header which would have been the winning goal right at the end of the match.
Other matches. Did they benefit Peru?
Colombia 1-0 Bolivia
While a Colombia win was always likely, Colombia struggled and got the winner in the last 10 minutes. Colombia go 6 points clear of Peru into 4th place
Paraguay 2-1 Ecuador
While this result doesn’t hurt Peru, it adds more fight into the race as Paraguay will continue to fight for the World Cup spot. Ecuador losing all 3 points helps La Blanquiroja by not getting further ahead.
Argentina 1-0 Chile
With this result, Chile move down to 6th and Peru will feel that Chile are more of a rival for the spot. However, with this said Peru still have to play away to Argentina while they have already played both games against Chile.
Uruguay 1-4 Brazil
While this result won’t affect the table much where Peru is concerned, Uruguay have lost the last 2 games and will look to not drop anymore points as their next game is against La Blanquiroja in Lima.
Peru vs Uruguay – Lima (March 28th)
Peru knows that without a win here, they will not be going to the World Cup. While they won’t be mathematically eliminated, they will have to put a miraculous run which may not even be enough. As mentioned, Uruguay lost the last 2 matches and will look to not drop anymore points. Center back Christian Ramos suspended for Peru. The other options include Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Luis Abram (Sporting Cristal), and Anderson Santamaria (FBC Melgar). Luis Suarez was out with suspension against Brazil but will be back for the match in Lima. The last time Uruguay played Peru in Lima, they won 2-1 in a game that essentially eliminated them. Peru will not want déjà vu and will look to win the game.
Players to watch
Luis Suarez (FC Barcelona)
Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain)
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo)
Edison Flores (AaB Alborg)
Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo)
Last 4 matches
Chile 2-1 Peru
Paraguay 1-4 Peru
Peru 0-2 Brazil
Venezuela 2-2 Peru
Colombia 2-2 Uruguay
Uruguay 2-1 Ecuador
Chile 3-1 Uruguay
Uruguay 1-4 Brazil
Other matches. What benefits Peru?
Bolivia vs Argentina
Peru will no doubt want Bolivia to beat Argentina to keep them from going further and Bolivia are no danger to Peru in the table.
Ecuador vs Colombia
A draw is what Peru wants most here. Colombia or Ecuador winning can see them get further ahead in the table whereas a draw keeps them at bay. Giving Peru a slight chance to sneak in should their results go in their favour.
Brazil vs Paraguay
Peru wants a Brazil win as Paraguay could easily go back into the race with a win. While Paraguay have given trouble to Brazil in the past, Brazil have never lost a World Cup qualifying game at home and are on a 7 game winning run. While nothing is a given in South America, this game should be the least concerning.
Chile vs Venezuela
Venezuela is not a danger to Peru in the table. Venezuela winning is unlikely but it’s not as unlikely as Paraguay beating Brazil so Peru will be hoping Venezuela could manage to have Chile drop points.