Paraguay and Peru opened the Qualifiers with a tie

Paraguay and Peru opened the Qualifiers with a tie

Peruwith one less player for more than 50 minutes due to the expulsion of Boca Juniors defender Luis Advíncula, achieved a valuable draw in Ciudad del Este against the local team Paraguayan 0 to 0, in the match that opened the South American Qualifiers heading to World Cup 2026.

The Guaraníes were superior to the Peruvians, who had Pedro Gallese as the figure of the match, although the locals lacked precision and forcefulness to break the intelligent game developed by the Incas, especially in the second half.

In the structure of both teams there were differences since while Guillermo Barros Schelotto almost did not include players from the Paraguayan League, Juan Reynoso did have among his squad 9 players who play in Peru.

The similarities began in the goals since while the Guarani Carlos Coronel is the starter for the New York Red Bulls of the MLS, on the Inca side, Pedro Gallese defends the goal for Orlando City in the same competition.

In the center forwards, the starters were over 30 years old. On the visiting side, Paolo Guerrero showed his validity at 39, while from the age of 33, Gabriel Avalos sought to turn his good moment in Argentinos Juniors into this second round.

Guerrero shows his face at this moment, since the scorer of Ricardo Gareca’s cycle in Peru, Gianluca Lapadula, underwent arthroscopic correction surgery for instability in his right ankle and will miss the first four games of the tie.

When the ball started moving, the local team came out quickly to overwhelm the Peruvians with their pressure and push them against Gallese, who along with his defenders made some saves with stopped ball throws.

In Paraguay, the standard-bearers of the pressure were Mathias Villasanti, from Gremio de Porto Alegre, and former Boca Juniors Andrés Cubas, today at the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS.

Avalos moved very well surrounded by the skilled English Newcastle midfielder Miguel Almirón and the elusive Talleres de Córdoba striker Ramón Sosa, who after 25 minutes had already had Luis Advíncula and Miguel Araujo cautioned with his dribbling and his speed.

The youth Diego Gómez, Lionel Messi’s teammate at Inter Miami, made Gallese shine with a free kick that almost became the first goal.

At 26 minutes Gallese took the ball almost from the inside in a corner and the rebound was captured by Gustavo Gómez who crashed a scissors into the crossbar. On the counterattack, André Carrillo and Andy Polo shook the Paraguayan defense and almost converted.

But it was Gallese’s firmness and concentration that kept Peru’s goal scoreless, in the face of constant Guaraní attacks. Until Sosa confronted Advíncula for the umpteenth time and the Peruvian called him out and saw the red card. Boca coach Jorge Almirón should note this issue, for when the Xeneize faces Talleres and Ramón Sosa starts in the Córdoba eleven.

Towards the end, Diego Gómez, from Inter Miami, hit a free kick against the crossbar, which could have given the Guaraníes the first goal. Messi’s teammate at Inter Miami showed good punch.

After halftime, Reynoso made three changes to reformulate the defense and reinforce the midfield to give more fight in possession of the ball. The changes gave him good results because he saw the Incas as more confident, firmer in defense and fighting the midfield harder.

Thus, Gallese’s first intervention was at 20 minutes, so the Barros Schelotto sent former Huracán Kaku Romero Gamarra to the field, but he was surprised by the one chosen to come out, which was Gómez, Messi’s teammate in Miami.

Gallese excelled against a point-blank header from Balbuena around the 30th minute and due to the lack of effectiveness, the Twins ordered the entry of Carlos González, from the Mexican Tijuana, for Avalos, who had little participation and was poorly assisted.

Peru’s best opportunity came in the 81st minute of the match when Paolo Guerrero hit the crossbar with a shot that almost gave his team three points, demonstrating the quality of the former Racing team.

A few seconds later, Romero Gamarra hit the post with his left foot and the rebound was taken by Sosa who aimed at the same post of the goal defended by Gallese, and the Guaranies saw their chances of unevenness frustrated.

The passing of the minutes preannounced the tie and the bad news for the locals increased when in the added minutes, Miguel Almirón suffered a muscle injury that could keep him out of Tuesday’s match against Venezuela, in the Caribbean city of Maturín.

While Peru takes a heroic point to wait for the powerful Brazil, next Tuesday in the city of Lima.

Source: Ambito

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