CONCEPCIóN: Paolo Guerrero fired Peru to a third place play-off victory over Paraguay on Friday to stay in the hunt for Copa America tournament top-scorer honours.
The Flamengo striker, top-scorer at the 2011 Copa America, bagged his fourth goal of this year’s tournament with a late strike as Peru completed a 2-0 victory.
The goal saw Guerrero join Chile’s Eduardo Vargas as the joint top-scorer.
The 31-year-old’s 25th international goal has also edged him closer to overhauling Peru legend Teofilo Cubillas’s national record of 26 goals.
Guerroro’s goal was the icing on the cake and finished off the match against Paraguay.
After an entertaining but ultimately goalless first half, Peru opened the scoring soon after the break through Andre Carrillo in the 48th minute.
A dangerous corner by Peru’s highly rated midfielder Christian Cueva was headed into the path of Carrillo by Paraguay’s Raul Bobadilla.
The 24-year-old met the clearance with a sweetly struck volley which flew into the bottom corner past the dive of Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar to give Ricardo Gareca’s men the lead.
Paraguay, thrashed 6-1 by Argentina in the semi-finals, raised their game fleetingly and almost snatched an equaliser on 68 minutes only for striker Edgar Benitez to be denied by a superb block from Peru midfielder Carlos Ascues. However, any hopes of them mounting a late assault on the Peruvian goal in search of an equaliser were quashed by Guerroro in the 89th minute.
Peru’s win saw them repeat their third place finish in the 2011 Copa America.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.
Like Sports on Facebook, follow @ETribuneSports on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.