Peru book World Cup play-off spot as Colombia, Chile miss out

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Peru booked a World Cup play-off spot against either Australia or the United Arab Emirates with a 2-0 victory over Paraguay on Tuesday, thus dashing the hopes of Colombia and Chile to reach the Qatar extravaganza. With Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Uruguay already qualified, all that was to play for in the final round of South American qualifying was the fifth place and an intercontinental play-off.

Both Colombia, who won 1-0 away to Venezuela, and Chile, beaten 2-0 at home by Uruguay, could have qualified with a victory had Peru slipped up.

But for the second World Cup qualification campaign in a row, Peru head into a play-off.

Last time they beat New Zealand 2-0 over two legs but their task will be harder this time with a one-off clash against either the Socceroos or UAE in Qatar in June.

Italy-born Gianluca Lapadula opened the scoring in the fifth minute in Lima and although debutant Sebastian Ferreira hit the bar soon after for Paraguay, Peru were largely in control.

Yoshimar Yotun doubled the advantage in the 42 minutes, acrobatically converting a cross from Edison Flores.

It could have been more comfortable for Peru but Lapadula was twice denied by the woodwork.

Colombia missed out on the play-off by a single point.

Halfway through the qualification campaign, they had been in a strong position to qualify but a run of seven straight games without a goal before winning their final two matches crushed their hopes.

James Rodriguez scored the only goal deep into first-half stoppage time from the penalty spot after Ronald Hernandez was penalized for a foul on Rafael Borre.

 

 

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