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WC Qualification South America
12 September 2012
• Estadio Nacional de Lima, Lima
Referee: W. Roldán
• Attendance: 34111
C. Zambrano 22'
G. Higuaín 37'
That's it from me, thanks for joining us on Goal.com! Till next time!
1-1 is the final score here. Peru will feel slightly aggrieved that they did not find a way to claim all three points, especially after hitting the post in the second half. Argentina meanwhile remain top of the Conmebol standings by a point, but their run of five victories in 2012 is brought to an end.
90' + 4'
And that does it! Full Time!
90' + 3'
CLOSE! Rojo meets the resulting corner from point blank range but heads over! Should have done better!
90' + 2'
Ooooohhhh, close for both sides! Farfan's freekick from the left is not met by anyone, and almost surprises Romero! He manages to grab, and launches one long downfield. Peru head clear the initial ball, but only to Higuain, who blasts from outside the box and is denied by Fernandez!
90' + 1'
Four minutes of added time are shown...
Ángel Di María
Yellow Card Ángel Di María
Final minute of regulation, as Maxi Rodriguez comes on for Di Maria, who is booked for taking his sweet time to make his way to the sidelines.
Yellow Card Hugo Campagnaro
Campagnaro's name enters the referee's notebook after a silly leg out on Youtun.
Messi flattened in the middle as Peru try to break. No freekick for the little Argentine.
And his first touch is with his hand, illegally controlling a long throw in the box. Freekick to Argentina.
Here comes Peruvian legend Guerrero for the closing stages, on for Ramirez.
Peru attempt a succession of balls over the top to pick out Pizarro then Farfan, but neither succeed. Argentina defend well on those instances.
Peru look the more likely to snatch a late winner here. Not surprising, as they've surpassed Argentina in most respects today.
Cruzado tries to find Pizarro with a searching cross from the left. The Peru skipper does manage to get his head on the ball, but it is lifted up into the air and is an easy grab for Romero.
Yellow Card Luis Ramírez
Messi is robbed of the ball just in front of his own area. It's worked to Farfan, who slices one well wide from about 30 yards out.
Perez caught offside as another Argentina attack breaks down. There had been precious little from Argentina in an attacking sense in the second-half, or indeed, for most of the game.
Peru's tame to make a change. Off goes Carrillo, and on comes Hurtado.
Enzo Nicolás Pérez
Lavezzi jogs slowly to the sidelines, as Sabella makes his second change. Perez takes his place.
Wow. Another chance for Peru. Yotun swings a quick cross in that catches Argentina out. Pizarro sneaks in at the near post ahead of his marker, but bundles off target.
Peru are edging back on top after a lovely sequence of pass and move that leaves Argentina struggling to catch up. Farfan almost had space to shoot from point blank range, but Fernandez did well to cut across and block.
Farfan takes charge of a free kick some way out, and swings in a decent ball towards the centre of the box that Zambrano flicks about a foot high and wide.
Substandard corner from Messi that is met by a substandard header from Fernandez.
Advincula blocks off Messi on the left, and concedes a corner. Still, impressive defending from the right-back.
A bit of the sting taken out of the game now. Both sides lacking any real thrust in midfield, as they pass the ball around somewhat leisurely.
Gago exits the field on a stretcher in a neck brace. Let's hope it's not serious, because that fall looked painful. He is applauded off sportingly by the fans as Guinazu comes on in his place.
Nasty looking fall here for Gago. He takes all the body weight of Cruzado in a tussle, and lands on his neck. His teammates wisely advising him not to move. Play is stopped as the physios come onto the field.
Excellent tenacity from Pizarro, putting pressure on Fernandez near the corner flag, and stealing the ball with ease. Whatever the result, Peru's determination cannot be faulted in any way, shape or form.
End to end stuff here as Peru strike the post!!! It was a 5-on-2 break for the home side, spearheaded by Ramirez. He advanced down the left, and elected to curl one in from the top of the box. His finish, however, bounces off the far post!!! Another Argentina let off!!!
Di Maria hit backs straightaway! Down the left he goes, out-muscling Advincula, but just as he was about to cut back from the byline, Youtun gets back to clear.
Peru go close! Farfan's delivery is not cleared by the defence, and Crozado squeezes a shot in at the near post that Romero blocks low!
Who skips past his marker and is brought down about 40 yards from goal. Freekick.
A hint of a break for Argentina, as another punt from the back leads to a 2-on-2 break. However, Advincula tracks back well to make the challenge and spark a break with Farfan...
Peru his back straightaway. Farfan again is the instigator down the right, whipping in a good cross that Fernandez does well to clear ahead of the lurking Pizarro.
Close shave for Peru! A long ball from defense is pumped towards Lavezzi. Suddenly, he shrugs off his marker and squares up to Fernandez, who beats away his strong shot for a corner!
Farfan looks to scare Argentina with his pace down the flanks once again. Mascherano though is quick to cut across and make the block.
Slow start for both sides. The fans too, seem a bit lethargic in the stands.
Here we go again! One change at the start of the second period...Ballon coming on for Lobaton.
We have seen an entertaining game of football here. No doubt that Peru have looked the better side, and they should be in the lead had Pizarro not failed from the spot two minutes into the game. 1-1 as things stand, stay with us for the second half!
45' + 1'
Here come the Argentines one final time. Lavezzi, who has been the most positive player for the visitors, surges down the left into the area. He lifts his head, but spotting no one in the area to connect with any potential delivery, he instead decides to drive towards the corner, but misses by about a foot. And that is it for the half!
A single minute to be played here to end the half.
Peru still on top as we edge closer to half-time. A rare chance for Argentina sees Lavezzi force a save out of Fernandez with a deflected cross from the byline, but he ball had inched out of play before he hit it.
An absolutely incredible display of pace and power from Fafan. Pizarro had held the ball up at the top of the box, but his through pass seemed over-hit and heading out of play. But Farfan shows Roberto Carlos-esque drive to race towards the byline and cut back inside. Unfortunately for Peru, Pizarro did not turn in time to attack the cross.
Yellow Card Claudio Pizarro
Pizarro is the third Peruvian player to be booked, for a late tackle on Gago. The Peru captain stayed on his feet, but did not get the ball first.
Now Argentina seem to be in the ascendancy. They are passing the ball around with a lot more purpose. Peru look a tad disjointed.
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
ARGENTINA ARE LEVEL!!! Out of absolutely nowhere! Clinical stuff from Higuain! A long ball from defense is chased down by Lavezzi, who squares to Higuain from the byline. The Madrid hitman takes it first time and arrows it into the corner! 1-1!
Argentina are looking a tad shaky at the back, as Peru look to tighten the noose with sustained pressure in the attacking third. One or two inquests going on.
Yellow Card C. Lobatón
Lobaton enters the book for a high boot in an attempted clearance. It was a wild motion, no doubt, and a deserved booking.
And another disappointing delivery from the Barca star, again failing to clear the first man. He's really looked out of sorts, more fuel for the fire of the critics who say he doesn't give his best for the national team, I guess.
Another foul, this time Carrillo is the offender for taking down Higuain. Another free-kick for Argentina out of shooting range...
It's just not clicking for Argentina. Peru are locked in in midfield and defense, and seem braver in every 50-50 ball. Sabella is prowling the touchline, not looking happy with life at all.
Fernandez releases Di Maria on the left, who squares up against Advincula out wide. However, the right0back does exceptionally well to block, and even succeeds in winning a goal-kick. Great stuff from a player who is having a cracker so far.
Argentina win two free kicks in succession in the middle of the park, both of which come to nothing. The tenacity from both sides shows no signs of letting up. Credit to referee Wilmar Roldan for letting the players play. It's never threatened to boil over.
You have to say that Peru have deserved that. They have certainly seized the moment, and have looked much more lively than their illustrious guests. No sign of Messi and Co. so far.
Goal C. Zambrano
PERU TAKE THE LEAD!!! What a fantastic move from the set-piece!! The ball was squared to Youtun, who unleashes a fantastic diagonal ball to pick out Advincula on the overlap. The fullback keeps it in play, and squared to Zambrano, who does the rest! 1-0!!!
Farfan takes control of the ball, but no sooner does he take it on the turn that Mascherano takes him down. Yet another set piece to come. It's certainly been nippy in the midfield.
The break fizzles out as Messi runs into a wall of four white shirts. Peru regain possession, and look to advance down the right again.
Farfan himself steps up to take the corner. Pizarro manages to get his head to it, but never made clean contact. Garay hacks clear, sparking a counter for Argentina, with Messi at it's head...
Peru advance down the right once more. Farfan is linking up well with Advincula on that flank, and the former has won a corner here for the home side.
Youtun and Lavezzi go tussling for a long punt near the corner flag. The Peruvian seemed to get the final touch, but a goal-kick is signaled, much to the incredulity of Lavezzi.
Decent little spell of possession this for Peru. The home support are encouraged by this, as they stroke the ball around midfield comfortably.
Free-kick for the home side, presided over by Lobaton. His delivery, however is poor, and does not beat the first defender.
Poor play from Gago, coughing up possession inside his half and sparking Peru on the counter attack. However, Youtun Flores' crossfield ball is lacking, as is the delivery into the area from Carrillo.
Yellow Card L. Advíncula
No sooner have I said that, than Advincula becomes out first booking of the evening. What appeared to be a 50-50 between him and Mascherano instead ended up with a late-sliding challenge from the right back, as Mascherano got to the ball a step quicker.
A real ebb and flow developing here. The atmosphere in the stands is raucous, and both teams seem to be chomping at the bit.
The buildup is for naught as Zambrano heads clear with impunity.
Free kick for Argentine about 40 or so yards out. Messi stands over it, as many in blue and white queue up inside the area. The whistles are raining down for the stands as Messi takes a few steps back...
Will Peru be ruing that miss come full time? Pizarro really should have done better there. Lavezzi goes on the attack, but he mis-controls, and the ball trickles out for a goal-kick.
ROMERO SAVES! Or rather, Pizarro messes up! A weak penalty is hit low at the keeper, who gets down to make a relatively comfortable stop!
Well well well! Farfan was on his way down the left, and got involved in a tussle with Fernandez. A bit of jostling ensued, and an ungainly high boot from the Argentina man is seen before Farfan goes tumbling. Pizarro steps up...
PERU HAVE A PENALTY!!!
Early touch here for Sergio Romero, after Mascherano blocked a shot. Pizarro closes him down almost immediately, but the keeper manages to clear.
And we're off!!!
We're about to get underway here...the anticipation is building inside Estadio Nacional...
Peru's form has been indifferent, and they sit seven points off the top at the start of play today. With six points from six games, Sergio Markarian is hoping for his charges to right the ship, and two wins in their last two games against Venezuela and Costa Rica will no doubt have done them some good.
Alejandro Sabella has led Argentina to five victories out of five in 2012. The South American giants sit atop the Conmebol qualification tables, and could move three points clear of nearest rival Colombia with a win tonight, having played a game less. It's been quite a turnaround results-wise for la Albiceleste, who, lest we forget, picked up one point from their first two qualifiers in 2011.
Injuries have also hit the hosts hard, with Juan Vargas and Paolo Guerrero nursing knocks of their own. Neither will feature tonight. 36-year-old Rafael Farfan, cousin of the more familiar Jefferson, was a very late call-up to the squad, but he starts on he bench.
Mascherano returns from a one-match ban, served against Paraguay on Friday, to take his place in midfield. However, there is no place for Zabaleta in the visiting XI, as the same injury that kept him out on Friday also excludes him from this clash.
Argentina (4-3-3): Romero; Campagnaro, Garay, Fernandez, Rojo; Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria; Messi, Higuain, Lavezzi.
Peru (4-4-2): Fernandez; Advincula, Zambrano, Rodriguez, Yotun; Lobaton, Cruzado, Ramírez, Farfan; Carrillo, Pizarro.
The lineups are in...
Greetings one and all, and welcome to the World Cup Qualifying clash between Argentina and Peru! We will be underway in about 20 minutes or so, and I'm Keeghann Sinanan, glad as always to bring you the play-by-play.
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