Peru beat Colombia 2-1 on Sunday to keep alive their chances of advancing to the Copa America knockout phase.
Sergio Pena opened the scoring for the Peruvians in the 17th minute. Miguel Borja equalized from the 53rd place, but an own goal 11 minutes later by Colombia defender Jeri Mina decided the match at the Olympic Stadium in Goiania.
Peru is third in Group B with three points after two games. Colombia remains in second place with four points, but only two games remain. The leader Brazil has six points. The four best teams will qualify for the quarterfinals.
“This gives us a lot of hope in the future of the Copa America,” said Peru defender Renato Tapia. “We are in a good position, but we have to keep rowing to go further.”
Peru lost 4-0 to Brazil at the beginning of the tournament, which raised doubts about the team of coach Ricardo Gareca. The finalists of the Copa America in 2019 are also fighting in the qualifications for the World Cup in South America. Just weeks ago, he lost 3-0 to Colombia in Lima.
Peru opened the scoring with Pena, who buried the ball in the back of the net from the edge of the penalty area. Borja’s leveling after being brought down in the region gave the impression that Colombia had momentum.
But a figure from the right flank ended up on Mina’s chest and then accidentally past Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina. The Peruvians then managed to defend themselves to the last signal.
“You are paying a high price for mistakes and now we have to face Brazil on Wednesday,” said Wilmar Barrios of Colombia. “We’re still missing something.”
After the initial 0-0 draw with Venezuela and the loss to Peru, coach Reynaldo Rueda agreed.
“We still miss that gap in the last 20 meters so we can leave our strikers one-on-one and then have an easy finish,” said Rueda, who is under criticism at home for not bringing in midfielder James Rodriguez of South America. championship.
Earlier on Sunday, Venezuela and Ecuador drew 2-2. Venezuela is fourth in the group with two points after three games, and Ecuador has one point after two games.
The next matches in the group will be played on Wednesday. Defending champions Brazil will play Colombia and Peru will face Ecuador.