Peru Vs. Argentina, 2014 World Cup Qualifying: Final Score 1-1, Spoils Shared In Lima

Normally, the standard footballing syntax for Argentina failing to beat Peru would go 'Enterprising Peru hold Argentina to draw' or something vaguely equivalent, but that sort of language would be doing the hosts a grave disservice here. For it was Peru who were on top and failed to beat their guests despite every opportunity to do so.

It started in the second minute, when Angel di Maria clattered Jefferson Farfan in the penalty box. Claudio Pizarro had a golden opportunity to put Peru in front, but spurned it, hitting a weak spot kick low and to the right and allowing Sergio Romero to save. That didn't prevent the hosts from grabbing the lead in the 21st minute, with Carlos Zambrano finishing coolly after a well-worked free kick.

Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain grabbed an equaliser from more or less nothing, hammering home a cross from Ezequiel Lavezzi to ensure that Argentina would go into the break on level terms, but it was Peru who came closest to earning a winner when Luis Ramirez hit the post on a fast break.

Peru were clearly the better side, especially after Fernando Gago was forced off when the Valencia midfielder took a nasty-looking hit shortly after the interval, but they weren't able to convert their superiority into another goal, and ultimately the shares were spoiled. It's a great result for the hosts on paper, but they really could have won today. As for Argentina... well, it's probably best not to talk about it.

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