Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Peru: Paolo Guerrero Scores Late Winner For Peru

It took until the 82nd minute, but Paolo Guerrero finally put the scoreboard to work with a goal that gave the Peruvians a 1-0 win

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Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Peru: Paolo Guerrero Wins It For Peru

The Copa America Group C match-up between Mexico and Peru wasn't ever going to be an offensive battle. Both teams are short on attacking talent and while neither side was overly defensive they weren't flying forward at every opportunity. Nearly the entire match was plagued by bad giveaways, late runs and missed opportunities, but Peru won't care. That's because Paolo Guerrero scored in the 82nd minute to hand Peru a 1-0 win over Mexico and move them joint top of the group along with Chile.

The first half saw Mexico struggled to get any opportunities to score. Peru had most of the possession and most of the forays forward, but they couldn't turn it into chances. Each time they went forward they got within 35 yards of goal and had no way of breaking down the Mexico defense. They had no ideas and zero creativity so they went into the second half still tied 0-0.

As the second half wore on the match finally began to change. Peru started to get a little more creative and with it came chances. Twice they got dangerous free kicks, one of which clanged off the crossbar. Another chance from the run of play hit the post, but in the 82nd minute they finally got themselves a goal.

Sergio Acasiete got space on the right and it looked as if he was going to take it to the end line, but instead he played a cross through the Mexico defense. It was on the ground and found Guerrero at the back post. Nobody was around and Guerrero simply tapped it in for the game-winning goal. Mexico appealed for offside, but replays showed that the assistant referee was correct in keeping the flag down.

With the win, Peru sits on four points, even with Chile atop the group heading into their final group stage match against Chile on July 12. Mexico need a win over Uruguay on July 12 to have any hopes of advancing from the group.


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Peru: Paolo Guerrero Scores To Put Peru In Front

Peru finally got the goal they deserved. A first half of ugly, dull soccer turned into a second half filled with opportunities and near misses for Peru. Even so, it looked like it would come to a close with still no goals and a scoreless draw as the chances just missed, but Paolo Guerrero broke the deadlock for what looks like will be the game-winning goal. The 82nd minute tally has Peru on top and now looking as if they will move into a tie at the top of Group C.

The goal was created by Santiago Acasiete, who found space on the right. Initially it looked as if he would take the ball to the end line, but he stopped short of it and played a loww pass across the Mexico defense to Guerrero, who was all alone on the back post for the finish. Mexico appealed for offisde, but replays showed that he was being held on by the last defender and peru had themselves a fair go-ahead goal.


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Peru: 45 Minutes, No Goals, No Creativity

The goalless first halves at Copa America continue as Mexico and Peru have failed to put a dent in the scoreboard in the first 45 minutes. As was expected, Mexico have struggled to generate anything in the attack. Peru are double-marking Giovani dos Santos at every opportunity and daring anyone else in the Mexico team to beat them. El Tri just doesn't have anything else though and as a result their attack is impotent.

Peru have been the better side, but they certainly have not been good. They created a few chances, but nothing exceptional and their play has lacked any creativity in the final third. As soon as they get forward they top and usually end up giving the ball away without any ideas of how to break down a good and organized Mexico back line. An early chance that Luis Michel was barely able to get a hand to and just push wide remains their best opportunity.


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Peru: Lineups

Mexico knew that qualifying for the knockout stages of Copa America would be tough. They sent an under-22 team to the tournament then had eight player suspended as part of a prostitution scandal, leaving them alarmingly short on attacking talent. If they were to advance though they were always going to need three points against Peru and now comes time to grab those three points against what was widely believed to be the worst team in Group C.

Widely believed to be the worst team in the group fo not, Peru went out in their opener and got an impressive 1-1 draw against Uruguay. Now they can put themselves in a golden position to move into the knockout stages with a win against Mexico. Breaking down a Mexican team that is solid at the back and playing with five defenders will be very tough though.

Mexico (5-4-1): Luis Michel; Darvin Chávez, Nestor Araujo, Hector Reynoso, Hiram Mier, Paul Aguilar; Diego Reyes, Jorge Enríquez, Javier Aquino, Giovano dos Santos; Rafael Márquez Lugo

Peru (4-2-3-1): Saloman Libman; Walter Vilchez, Santiago Acaslete, Giancarlo Carmona, Alberto Junior Rodriguez;Carlos Lobotan, Adan Balbin; Juan Manuel Vargas, Rinaldo Cruzado, Paolo Guerrero


Copa America 2011, Mexico Vs. Peru: Preview

Mexico and Peru are both participating in the 2011 Copa America without their best attacking players, but in their first games, they fared differently. Mexico's only top class attacking player is Giovani dos Santos, and while he played well against Chile, he got little assistance as Mexico fell 2-1. Peru got a little luckier, as a seemingly brilliant and stacked Uruguay side played poorly en route to a 1-1 draw against the Peruvians. On Friday, both teams will be looking to notch their first win in the tournament.

Peru are without both Jefferson Farfan and Claudio Pizarro, who are almost certianly their best two attacking players. Their goal scorer against Uruguay was Paolo Guerrero, a man who has played very little football over the last two seasons after a promising start to his career in the Bundesliga. Both teams are seriously lacking in attacking talent and both teams are in seriously in need of a win to have a good chance at advancing.

Goals should probably be at a premium in this one thanks to the lack of attacking talent on both sides, but dos Santos should be the best attacking player on the pitch, while Mexico's defense was unaffected by the prostitution scandal and is actually one of the strongest in the tournament. That should be the difference, but don't take my word for it. As the early results in this tournament show, anyone who bets money on Copa America is a fool.

For more on Mexico vs. Peru, the Mexican national team, and Mexican football in general, visit SB Nation's Mexican football blog FMF State Of Mind.

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