Australia 0-2 Peru: 5 Talking Points, World Cup 2018
Scorers: 18’ Carrillo, 50’ Guerrero
For large parts of the game, it felt like Peru were the stakeholders in their final group stage tie against Australia. The Socceroos came into the game knowing that a win would keep their slim chances of progress open as long as the French did them a favour by beating Denmark. But that theory was thrown out of the basket as early as the 18th minute.
As the game panned out there were outstanding moments of quality. Both sides ended their World Cup campaign in Sochi and there were enough moments in the game to keep the viewers entertained.
The World Cup will surely miss Peru and the atmosphere that Peruvian fans brought to this tournament. Nevertheless, the show will go and both teams will leave the tournament with mixed emotions. Both teams can only build on from here and maybe what other teams can take from Peru is the joy they brought to this World Cup.
Let us now look at all the noteworthy points from this game.
#1 Guerrero marks a remarkable comeback
In the run-up to the tournament, Paolo Guerrero’s involvement in the tournament was an uncertainty. The 34-year-old was given a 14-month ban having tested positive for a cocaine by-product contained in a tea. And it was only a few weeks before the start of the tournament that a tribunal overturned the ban thus allowing him to play for Peru.
The tribunal reached its decision after the captains of Peru’s Group C rivals consisting of Australia, Denmark, and France wrote to FIFA asking them to lift the ban. And the captain showed his presence in the game, as he provided the assist for the first goal while scoring the second one.
Having promised a big hug to the Australian captain, Mile Jedinak, before the game, the Aussies would have hoped Guerrero to be in a more forgiving mood, but that was not to be as he showed his poacher’s instinct with a crisp finish across Matt Ryan in the Australian goal.
Although Australia appealed for offside in the build-up to the first goal, the flag stayed down and an early lead helped Peru dictate the play. Peru's captain was at the heart of it, harrying the Australian defence and looking to make a pass forward every time he was on the ball.