Peru in Early Trouble after Denmark Loss
Unlike their CONMEBOL brethren Uruguay, Peru dropped their opener; the country’s first World Cup match since 1982, 1-0 to Denmark. The loss puts them in a deep hole as it’s now very likely they’ll need a win against France in their second match if they want any hope of advancing beyond the group stage. There are quite a few things to take away from this game for La Blanquirroja, and what this result means moving forward for Peru.
The best praise I can give Peru is that they are incredibly fun to watch. The first half in particular saw them playing an aggressive style and letting it fly from long distance with no hesitation. It was glorious. The other big bright spot for this team was the Luis Advincula and Andre Carillo connection down the right side of the field. Advincula played a great game, and demonstrated his unique ability to be a one of the most dangerous offensive players on the field without completely abandoning his right-back role.
Finishing. Oh my goodness, this team could’ve scored so many times today if they had even half-decent finishing. Chance after chance went wasted, most notably the penalty miss just before halftime from Cueva, which visibly sucked the life and momentum out of the team. They had a lot less fire in the second half and it wasn’t a big surprise to see them concede.
Now, I’ve always been a vocal (perhaps too vocal) Raul Ruidiaz superfan, but he needs to start the next game, and should have started this one. Ruidiaz doesn’t miss the chances that his teammates missed today. He’s a great goalscorer, and in general would provide an all-around boost to the team. It was a bit baffling to see him enter the game until the final minutes.
If you looked at the faces of the Peru squad as the final whistle sounded, they looked done. It was a sad sight. Now how much stock you want to put into that is up to you, but if the team cannot bounce back mentally after this loss they haven’t got much of a chance against France. As said previously, they’re gonna need a win, and although the French looked shaky against Australia they’re still a tougher opponent than Denmark. Ricardo Gareca needs to do something to inspire his team and put this first match in the past, or Peru could very well be headed home early this summer.