Following a weekend of shocks in Argentina, Sergio Markarian's unfancied minnows take on La Celeste with a place in the Copa America final at stake
The unfancied Blanquirroja have no pressing injury concerns before this semi-final. Despite an indifferent start to the Copa, Sergio Markarian's side defied their critics to claim a stunning 2-0 extra-time win over the tournament dark horses Colombia on Saturday evening. Much of the focus will again be on key protagonists such as Jose Paolo Guerrero and Juan Manuel Vargas to reach a first Copa America final since 1975.
|Peru: Fernandez, Acasiete, Vilchez, Carmona, Rodriguez; Vargas, Cruzado, Lobaton, Balbin; Guerrero, Advincula.
Uruguay: Muslera; M. Pereira, Lugano, Coates, Caceres, A. Pereira; Gonzalez, Gargano, Rios; Forlan, Suarez.
Oscar Tabarez has a few injury and suspension worries to mull over ahead of the showdown in La Plata. Diego Perez is suspended following his sending off against hosts Argentina on Saturday. Walter Gargano will most likely fill the void left in midfield. Furthermore, Edinson Cavani and Mauricio Victorino have been ruled out with injury. Victorino was forced off against Argentina whilst Cavani has failed to recover from the knee problem he suffered in the group stages.
- Peru qualified for the semi-final by claiming a hard-fought 2-0 win against Colombia. Prior to their spirited extra-time victory, Los Cafeteros had missed a penalty and struck the bar in injury time.
- Despite a mixed start to their campaign, Sergio Markarian's side finished as one of the two best third-placed sides.
- The two sides have met before in the 2011 Copa America, as Peru took the lead via Paolo Guerrero, which was cancelled out by Luis Suarez en route to a 1-1 draw in Group C.
- La Blanquirroja, ranked 49 in the world, have reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1997 in which they finished fourth. In each of the last four tournaments, Peru have exited at the quarter-final stage.
- Peru have won the Copa America twice, their last success coming in 1975 which was also their last appearance in the final.
- Uruguay made it into the semi-final by defeating the hosts Argentina 5-4 on penalties following an entertaining 1-1 draw.
- La Celeste finished ahead of Peru in Group C with five points from three games.
- Oscar Tabarez's men have reached the last four for the fifth tournament in succession.
- Uruguay last won the Copa America in 1995 on home soil, finishing runners-up in 1999 and third in the 2004 edition.
- Last year's World Cup semi-finalists, like Peru, have only won one game outright - against Mexico thanks to a goal from their current top scorer Alvaro Pereira.
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