Copa América: Peru Third after 2-0 Win over Paraguay


Peru finished in third place for a second successive Copa América tournament after recording a 2-0 victory over Paraguay in Concepción.

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André Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero scored in the second half as Los Incas, beaten 2-1 by hosts Chile in the semi-finals, ended an impressive campaign on a winning note.

The deadlock was broken shortly after half time, Sporting Lisbon’s Carrillo volleying home from the edge of the box after a corner had only been half-cleared by Paraguay’s defence.

La Albirroja looked certain to grab an equaliser in the 68th minute, only for Carlos Ascues to produce a brilliant last-gasp challenge that stopped Édgar Benítez knocking in a low cross.

Instead it was Peru who scored the all-important second goal. Guerrero was on hand to sweep home a ball from the right in the closing minutes, his fourth of the campaign meaning he is now tied with Chile’s Eduardo Vargs as the competition’s leading scorer.

There were changes to both teams, with Peru pair Christian Ramos and Yordy Reyna starting in place of the injured Jefferson Farfán and Carlos Zambrano, who was suspended after his red card in the last match.

Paraguay, still smarting from the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Argentina, were unable to call upon Derlis Gonzalez (thigh), Roque Santa Cruz (hamstring), Bruno Valdez (thigh) and Nelson Valdez (thigh) due to injuries.

Chances were at a premium in the first half, with both teams failing to create anything clear-cut during the opening 45 minutes.

The match came to life in the 48th minute, when Carrillo volleyed past Paraguay goalkeeper Villar from outside the area.

A corner kick deflected up in the air and the Sporting Lisbon player got his outstretched boot to the ball to score his first international goal since August 2012.

For the most part Peru held on comfortably to their slender lead, though they did need Ascues to come to their rescue, just as Benítez looked certain to level matters.

Romero’s cross was heading straight to his Paraguay team-mate at the back post with the goal gaping, but Ascues flung himself into the ball’s path to see it to safety via a deflection off the post.

Victory was sealed for Peru in the 89th minute, and it was Guerrero who was on hand to put the game beyond their opponents.

The experienced forward was on hand to side-foot through Villar’s legs after a cross from Joel Sánchez, the strike adding to the hat-trick he notched against Bolivia in the quarter-finals.

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