Colombia shoots blanks against Peru in 0-0 tie at Copa America 2015…
by Shea Baldwin
Colombia’s Copa America hopes are hanging by a thread after a painful goallessss draw with Peru at Estadio Municipal Germán Becker in Temuco, Chile. With Neymar suspended for the remainder of Copa America, the door was pretty much open for Colombia to win Group C on Sunday and march to the semifinals without having to play one of the tournament’s big favorites.
Colombia’s inability to break the deadlock, compounded by another rough night for Radamel Falcao, was bad news for Ecuador in Group A, who are now eliminated from the tournament as they will be the worst third-placed side. Brazil did Colombia a huge favor by defeating Venezuela later in the night on Sunday, 2-1. This means that Colombia qualified by the skin of their teeth, behind second-placed Peru.
Colombia Starting XI: Ospina, Zuniga, Zapata, Murillo, Armero, Cuadrado, Sanchez, Valencia, Rodriguez, Teo Gutierrez, Falcao.
Peru Starting XI: Gallese, Advincula, Zambrano, Ascues, J. Vargas, Sánchez, Lobaton, Ballon, Cueva, Pizzaro, Guerrero.
Peru struggled to get something going on early, but can’t manage to get the ball into their striker, Pizzaro. The game became very physical and aggressive early on as tackles and challenges left many players on the field in pain. Colombia seemed early in the first half to have been the most dangerous side with Falcao seeing ample amount of opportunities and shots attempts.
At the 22′ mark, Colombia takes a hit by losing Edwin Valencia to injury. The Santos star was taken off on a stretcher for more treatment after twisting his knee awkwardly near the touchline, eventually being taken off entirely. Monterrey midfielder, Alexander Mehia entered the action at that point for the injured Valencia.
At the half the scoree sat at 0-0, Peru knowing that even if they draw against Colombia they will finish ahead of them in the group, because they have scored more goals than Los Cafeteros. Even though there were no goals scored in the first half it was very entertaining and fun to watch.
The game grew physical and tension rose as Colombia tries to take the advantage over Peru in Group C of the Copa America. At the 84′ mark, Ibarbo whipped a dangerous ball in after a long period of Colombia possession. Peru did well to clear the ball twice, getting the ball out to the halfway line and out of danger. The Peru players were in no rush as they looked to secure the draw coming into the closing stages of the match.
When the final whistle blew, Peru celebrated with the draw 0-0 as Colombia face a nervous wait to see whether they will qualify for the quarter-finals. Peckerman’s side just didn’t have enough to earn the three points they needed, but still managed to squeak by with the Brazil victory over Venezuela this evening.
The action continues June 24th when Chile takes on Uruguay in the quarterfinals of Copa America 2015.
Photo: Getty Images, Reuters, Associated Press.