Peru whip Bo­livia 3-1, win spot in Copa Amer­ica semis

The China Post - - SPORTS -

A Paolo Guer­rero hat trick led Peru to a 3-1 win against Bo­livia on Thurs­day, se­cur­ing a place in the semi­fi­nals of the Copa Amer­ica.

Peru at­tacked from the first minute with Guer­rero open­ing the scor­ing in the 20th minute when he headed in a per­fectly placed cross from Juan Var­gas. He added his sec­ond in the 23rd on the coun­ter­at­tack with Chris­tian Cueva sup­ply­ing the pass. He com­pleted his hat trick in the 74th af­ter in­ter­cept­ing a pass.

Bo­livia's Marcelo Moreno con­verted a penalty in the 84th.

The three goals were Guer­rero's first af­ter fail­ing to score in the three group matches.

"We are show­ing that this team wants to move on, to im­prove and we hope this will be the start be­cause we want to clas­sify for the World Cup," Guer­rero said.

It's the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive time that Peru has reached the Copa Amer­ica semi­fi­nals af­ter fin­ish­ing third four years ago in Ar­gentina.

Peru faces host Chile on Mon­day in the semi­fi­nals. On the other half of the draw, Ar­gentina plays Colom­bia in a quar­ter­fi­nal on Fri­day, and Brazil faces Paraguay on Satur­day in the other. The fi­nals are July 4.

Peru went with an at­tack­ing lineup of Guer­rero, Clau­dio Pizarro and Jef­fer­son Far­fan against Bo­livia's stub­born de­fense, and could have scored at least two more goals in the first half.

Far­fan had sev­eral chances, shoot­ing just wide of the near post in the 37th and then hit­ting the cross­bar in stop­page time.

Guer­rero con­tin­ued in the sec­ond half to shoot at ev­ery op­por- tu­nity with Marcelo Moreno also press­ing to get Bo­livia back into the match.

Far­fan had the best chance early in the sec­ond half, shoot­ing just wide of the far post in the 64th.

The game might have turned in the 69th when Bo­livia's Ri­cardo Pedriel tripped over div­ing goal­keeper Peru Pe­dro Gallese, but Colom­bia ref­eree Wil­mar Roldan waved off penalty claims.

Min­utes later, Guer­rero sealed the game when he in­ter­cepted a pass and raced in to score from 15 me­ters.

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