Peru 2-0 Australia: Guerrero among goals as Peru record 1st World Cup win for 36 years

26 Jun, 2018 15:53
Peru 2-0 Australia: Guerrero among goals as Peru record 1st World Cup win for 36 years
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© Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON / Global Look Press

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero - almost banned from playing at the Russia 2018 World Cup for ingesting cocaine - assisted one goal and scored the other as Peru won their first World Cup game for 36 years versus Australia in Sochi.

Guerrero provided a delicious chip for teammate Andre Carrillo inside the Australia box for the Benfica man to volley across his body and low into the far corner of the Australia goal for the opener on 18 minutes. 

Then in the second half, Guerrero turned scorer when he swiveled and turned in Christian Cueva’s deflected pass to double the Peruvian lead on 50 minutes. 

Guerrero would not have played in the Russia 2018 tournament if his ban for ingesting cocaine had not been lifted by the Swiss Supreme Court with just two weeks left until the tournament kicked off. 

Australia captain Mile Jedinak wrote a letter in support of Guerrero's appeal against his 14-month ban before his hearing last month. Such was his impact in the game, the Socceroos skipper could be left regretting his noble actions.

Peruvian fans had touched the hearts of all those they met in Russia. For many of them, it was the first World Cup in which Peru had taken part in their lifetime, the last being 36 years ago at Spain 1982.

Despite their apparent optimism, Peru fans had gone unrewarded for their rapturous support, as the team had failed to find the net in their opening two Group C matches against France and Denmark. 

Those who had waited 36 years to see Peru score in a World Cup had to wait less than 20 minutes before Carrillo scored his peach of a volley from a beautiful assist by Guerrero.

There were questions as to whether Guerrero had been offside in the buildup, but Russian referee Sergei Karasev neither blew for the deicison, nor consulted VAR and the goal stood.

After going behind, Australia piled on the pressure, Tom Rogic and David Leckie went close numerous times, but the Peruvian defence never looked like wavering.

In the second half, Peru doubled their lead when Guerrero turned inside the area to put the ball past outstretched arms of Mathew Ryan and that was the way the game stayed. France and Denmark played to a 0-0 draw - the first at Russia 2018 so far - in the other Group C game, which was enough to seal qualification for both sides.

Australia finished bottom of the group with just one point from their campaign, while there will be parties in Peru despite their elimination.