Copa America 2011 Third Place Match: Guerrero's Hat-trick Help Peru Finish Third
Paolo Guerrero’s hat-trick in the third place play off in the Copa America 2011 ensured Peru the third spot after defeating 10 men Venezuela 4-1 in Mendoza on Saturday.
The match began on a lively note with Peru dominating the proceedings and possessions. Venezuela on the other hand look dangerous in the counter attacked and nearly took the lead in the 5th minute when Maldonado bent it like Beckham just over the cross bar.
Peru opens the account in the 41st minute with a Chiroque’s goal after a brilliant move from the centre. Chiroque ran with the ball from the midfield against three Venezuelans defenders, and pass the ball to Guerrero at his right. Guerrero returned it back to Chiroque which culminated in the latter netting in the first goal of the match, giving Peru a half time 1-0 lead.
Venezuelan’s hope of making a comeback was dented within 10 minutes of the second half when when Tomas Rincon made a dangerous challenge on Carlos Lobaton that resulted in a straight red card. Lobaton was taken off on a stretcher and did not return.
Things got worse for Venezuela in the 65minute when Chiroque and Guerrero combined again to double Peru’s lead. This time Chiroque turned provider, laying the ball back his strike partner who had time to control the pass and smash it into the roof of the net.
Desperate for a goal, Venezuela introduced Juan Arango and it paid off few minutes later when he latch on to a pin point through ball from Yohandry Orozco and scored to give Venezuela some respite in the 78 minute.
With just over 10 minutes to go, Venezuela in their desperate search for the equalizers came out all attacking. However Farias’ men could not break through the Peruvian’s defense and end up conceding two more goals in the injury time with Guerrero scoring both the goals.
This is Peru’s best finish since the 1983 edition where they managed third position while for Venezuela, the fourth place finish is so far their best campaign in Copa America.
Sunday’s final in Buenos Aeries will see Uruguay looking for their 15th Copa title against Paraguay.