Friday, June 7, 2013

Peru 1 - Ecuador 0

Lima was the site of the night's final qualifier as Peru hosted Ecuador.  Ecuador almost conceded an early goal after a wicked deflection.  Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro cut a ball back from the endline the ricocheted off a defender, but the resulting shot was saved on the dive by Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.  Ecuador must have felt hard done by the goal they suffered a dozen minutes after the opening whistle.  Jorge Guagua had done very well to cut out a cross, but a high deflection sailed slowly over the heads of two well-placed defenders and landed near Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro.  Pizarro took a touch to turn away from the defenders and then side-volleyed to the far post for a remarkable goal.  The luck nearly evened out as a cross from Joao Rojas was deflected goalward, but an alert Raul Fernandez in goal for Peru was able to cut across his momentum to parry the ball out for a corner kick.  Peru led 1-0 at the break.

A short corner from Antonio Valencia nearly brought the equalizer for Ecuador, but the turn-around shot was pushed aside at the near post by Fernandez.  Paolo Guerrero (pictured, white #9) hit a shot from twenty-four yards at the upper ninety near post, but Dominguez just managed to get hands to it to knock it out.  With less than ten minutes to play, Jefferson Montero was able to loft a cross onto the head of Cristian Benitez, but his snap header into the turf was scooped cleanly by Fernandez.  Peru were able to hold to a much-needed 1-0 victory that keeps their dreams of Brasil 2014 very much alive.

Argentina 25 pts +16
Colombia 20 pts +12
Ecuador 20 pts +5
Chile 18 pts -12
Venezuela 16 pts -3
Peru 14 pts -3
Uruguay 13 pts -4
Bolivia 10 pts -7
Paraguay 8 pts -14

Claudio Pizarro 12

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