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Peru: National Team Survives and Moves on to Quarterfinals

peruvsbolivia

Photo of Peru Vs. Bolivia taken by ®Dave and used under Creative Commons license.
After an favorable debut by the Peruvian National Team in the Copa America 2007 (when they beat their Uruguayan rivals 3-0), then a poor showing against Venezuela (they lost 2-0) and then another poor game against Bolivia (miraculously tying 2-2), which could have meant Peru's elimination from the Copa, the bloggers gave their opinions and here are some of the posts about this topic.

I'll start by citing a recently opened blog that has two elements that have made it very popular: it is part of a group of blogs that the Lima newspaper El Comercio sponsors and its author is Juan Carlos Oblitas, who is the current coach of Sporting Cristal. In his blog La Mirada of “El Ciego” [ES] (The Blind One), he was very careful with his criticisms, but also said: We played the worst game:

Estamos en cuartos de final de la Copa gracias al jugador más criticado hasta este momento en nuestra selección: Claudio Pizarro. Los dos goles convertidos por él nos dieron el empate en un partido en el que fuimos superados la mayor parte del mismo, y gracias a esas dos acciones individuales logramos el primer objetivo. Pero esto no nos puedehacer dejar de lado una verdad irrefutable: jugamos el peor partido de lo que va del torneo.

We're in the quarterfinals of the Copa thanks to the most criticized player of our team: Claudio Pizarro. His two goals gave us the tie in a game where we were outplayed for most of the game. Thanks to his individual plays, we achieved our first objective. However, this does not put aside a irrefutable truth: we played the worst game of any in the tournament.

In reality, this is a generalized opinion and the blame goes to the coach Julio Cesar Uribe. This is what Slayer_X [ES] said in his post “Peru Qualifies with Anguish [ES]”:

Uribe va a ser vapuleado a diestra y siniestra, espero que cuando declare sea hidalgo y reconozca que se equivocó de cabo a rabo. Gracias a su improvisación lo mas probable es que tengamos que enfrentar al candidato mas serio al título, nada mas y nada menos que Argentina.

Uribe will be heavily criticized, I hope that when he speaks that he will be humble and admit that he made a mistake. Thanks to his improvisation it is most likely that we will have to face the candidate most likely to take home the title, nothing more than Argentina.

Rosa de Paz [ES] is with the same point of view and mentions in what Uribe erred from the post “And Acasiete? Peru Without Desire in the Copa America 2007 [ES]

Bueno Pues… Perú aún sigue en el juego.. espero que Uribe abra los ojos… porque realmente ¿que paso con ACASIETE? es un hombre clave… Uribe realmente hizo mal.. y si perdian no era tanto por los jugadores si no por el técnico que no sabe colocarlos bien en la cancha…

Well, Peru still is alive, I hope Uribe opens his eyes because what happened with Acasiete (footballer Santiago Acasiete)? He is such a key player. Uribe really made mistakes and if they would have lost then it was not so much the players, but the coach, who does not know where to place the players on the field.

There is a lot of agreement that Acasiete should have played, as Blog de Notas [ES] writes, who also provided analysis on what the coach tried to in the entry, “Peru Tied with Bolivia and Qualified [ES]” Here are some of the observations.

La alineación que presentó Uribe fue totalmente insólita. En los días previos a este partido escuché en diversos medios que se le pedía al técnico un cambio de táctica. Jugar con cuatro al fondo y fortalecer el mediocampo, pues era hasta el momento el punto débil del equipo. Uribe dio el gusto a todos aquellos al presentar una línea de cuatro al fondo… ¡¡pero sin Acasiete!! Uno de los baluartes de la zaga peruana relegado al banco. … Perú ha clasificado a los cuartos de final de la Copa América. Ojalá que el técnico haya tomado nota de todos los errores cometidos durante esta primera fase y pueda (y sepa) corregirlos en lo que se viene. Porque Perú tiene con qué, de eso no ha quedado duda.

Uribe's lineup was completely unusual. In the days before the game, one could hear in various media sources that there was a call for a change in tactics. Playing with four in the back and strengthening the midfield, as that was the weakest part of the team. Uribe pleased everyone by presenting four in the back, but without Acasiete! One of the bastions of the Peruvian defense was placed on the bench. Peru qualified for the quarterfinals of the Copa America.

Hopefully the coach made note of all of the mistakes committed during this first round and can (and knows how) to correct them in the future. Because Peru can, and there is no doubt of that.

There is no doubt in the errors committed by the coach and the players. Bloggingsomnio [ES] in his entry “Group A Closes Play [ES]” relates:

Bolivia aprovechó que no teníamos nada en la volante y nos comió en el medio campo. Uribe en sus declaraciones dice que el segundo tiempo se mejoró los errores del primer tiempo…¿que partido vió? ¿estuvo en el estadio? Hemos pasado por el floro de Maturana y Autori, que no nos venga a meter ese cuento. Perú jugó mal los 96 minutos del partido y si se empató fué porque no se podía perder ante Bolivia y por el temperamento, sin embargo eso no nos ayudará ante equipos como Paraguay o Argentina (posibles rivales para cuartos). Es irónico que el que salvara el partido sea el jugador más criticado, Pizarro. Tener en cuenta que el segundo gol de Pizarro está en posición adelantada.

Bolivia took advantage of the fact that we had nothing in the attacj and we dominated us in the midfield. In his statements, Uribe said that the team corrected some of the errors from the first half. What game did he see? Was he even in the stadium? We survived through Maturana and Autori, and please don't try to tell us that. Peru played poorly for the 96 minutes of the game and they tied because we could not lose against Bolivia and for the temperament. However, that won't help us against teams like Paraguay or Argentina (possible rivals in the quarterfinals). It is ironic that the player that saved the game is also the most criticized player. It must be noted that the Pizarro's second goal came from an offsides position.

Pura Finta [ES] recalls those exciting moments when the Peruvian team qualified. He writes in his entry Peru and Venezuela Await Their Rival in the Quarterfinals [ES}.

De un milagro, le cometen otra falta a Perú, en el mismo lado, solo que en segundo tiempo. Otra vez centro de Mariño y Pizarro de cabeza marca el segundo para Perú. El grito eufórico de los peruanos, los aplausos, los mensajes, las llamadas y un “sí se puede, carajo” se escuchó en las calles de Lima. Era el empate y la clasificación de Perú. Bolivia no tenía nada que hacer. Con ese gol nos aseguramos el pase. Término del encuentro y gracias Pizarro porque por fin apareciste, gracias.

Miraculously, another foul is committed against Peru, and only in the second half. Another cross by Mariño and Pizarro heads in the second goal for Peru. Euphoric cheers by the Peruvians, the applause, the messages, the calls, and a “Yes, we can, dammit!” could all be heard in the streets of Lima. It was the tie and a qualification by Peru. Bolivia could do nothing. With that goal, we punched our ticket. The game ended and it was all thanks to Pizarro, who finally showed up. Thank you.

Claudio Pizarro did in fact, show up, and when he was most needed. He gave us the qualification and the joy after the suffering. Cuaderno de Borrador [ES] writes:

Y ahora los niños admiran mucho más a Pizarro. Hoy no sólo fue el buen jugador que se luce en Europa, hoy también fue el buen jugador y el buen capitán que siempre necesitó la selección. Y que sigue necesitando. Claudio, la de hoy, repítela hasta el último día que te pongas la rojiblanca.

Sufrimos. Nuestros hígados, estómagos, pulmones y corazones sufrieron. Masoquistamente nos enganchamos 90 minutos a América tv, y sufrimos. Sufrimos de rabia, de nervios, o de indiferencia. Y comprobamos que la suerte y los milagros existen, porque otra explicación a este resultado, no le podemos encontrar.

The children now look up even more to Pizarro. Today he was not only a good player that plays in Europe, but today he was also a good player and a good captain that the national team always needs. Hopefully he continues to be that until the last day he put on the red and white jersey.

We suffered. Our livers, stomachs, lungs and hearts suffered. Masochistically, we watched America TV for 90 minutes and suffered. We suffered by frustration, nervousness or indifference. We tried our luck and miracles do exist, because any other explanation for this result we cannot find.

Boca de Jarro [ES] also includes criticisms of Uribe, but he is also grateful to Pizarro for the qualification:

me parece que lo importante es convencer a Uribe que los experimentos que hizo ayer son irrepetibles, que fue bastante irresponsable su planteamiento y que hay que mejorar bastante para impedir que lo del domingo sea peor que lo de ayer.

Siempre he creido que la prensa está para desenmascarar y poner las cosas en claro, nunca para adular y vender falsas expectativas. Perú debería ser eliminado el domingo, y lo digo antes, arriesgo antes, no me subo al carro después.

It is important to convince Uribe that yesterday's experiment is unforgivable and that it was completely irresponsible to present that lineup. It is important to improve to prevent that Sunday be worse than yesterday.

I always thought that the press was there to uncover and shine a light on things, but never to praise and sell false hopes. Peru should be eliminated on Sunday and I'll say it before, I won't get on the cart later.

Fútbol Reportes [ES] provides similar analysis in the entry “We don't expect anything more [ES}

Por tanto no nos ilusionemos más de seguir avanzando en esta copa. Ya se cumplió con la meta trazada de llegar entre los 8. Que nos haya sirvado esta copa para ver nuestro real nivel y para ver que hace falta más trabajo para poder tentar una clasificación a la próxima copa mundial de fútbol.

We don't have any more expectations to advance in this tournament. Our goal has been completed by entering into the final 8. What good it served us to see our real level and to see that we need more work to try and qualify for the next World Cup.

To finish, I'll leave you with Oblitas’ recent post about our next rival: Argentina. Here is the final paragraph, where after analyzing the Argentine team, places his faith in the red and the white (colors of the Peruvian national team):

Por el lado de Perú, ojalá que las dudas hayan quedado de lado, luego de la actuación con Bolivia. Todos debemos estar conscientes de que enfrentamos al rival más duro del torneo, que necesitamos el mejor equipo que se pueda presentar y sobre todo de una concentración total en lo que dure el partido. Si comentamos anteriormente que esta copa le iba a servir al técnico para encontrar el equipo base para las eliminatorias, qué mejor examen podemos tener, que es el de jugar con este fuerte equipo Argentino.

In respect to Peru, hopefully the doubts have been cast aside after the game against Bolivia. We should all be conscious that in facing the hardest rival of the tournament, that we need the best team we can place on the field and above all, total concentration that lasts the entire game. As we commented earlier, this tournament will help the coach find the core team for the World Cup qualifiers, and what would be a better test than to play against the strong Argentine team.

I'll leave you until next time, and not before recommending the Copa America Venzuela 2007 blog [ES], where there is analysis of the various participating national teams.

1 comment

  • Hey!
    Thanks for the report, and for the blog’s link.
    You can count on Brazilian support against Argentina.
    I wish you good luck! You’ll need it…
    Abraço,
    Jose.

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