00.30 BST, 26 June 2015
Estadio Municipal Bicentenario GermA?n Becker, Temuco
Bolivia and Peru are both not football powerhouses of South America but both find themselves with a chance to reach a step closer to the final of the competition.
89th ranked Bolivia enjoyed a 3-2 victory over Ecuador, but were at the end of a 5-0 loss against hosts Chile. It must, however, not be forgotten that Mauricio Soria opted to rest four of his players for their clash with Chile.
Miguel Hurtado, Edward Zenteno, Danny Bejarano and Damian Lizio could all be called back to the team after they were rested against Chile.
Their opponents are certainly the favorites from this clash, but Bolivia could cause an upset on their day. They have the chance to advance to the semi-final as they’ve got the easiest of the available opponents.
But the side will have to up their ante considerably to have a shot at the semi-final. No side had fewer shots (18), less possession (34.7%) or a lower pass accuracy (66.5%) than Bolivia in the group stages. Having scored only 3 goals in the group stages, the side has to increase its attacking proficiency. Striker Marcelo Martins ended his two year long international goal scoring drought against Ecuador which should give him the confidence of getting his side a crucial goal in this tie.
Martin Smedberg-Dalence was born in Sweden but his father is from Bolivia. He represented Sweden at the youth levels, but in October 2014, as a 30 year-old, he received a call-up to the Bolivia national football team. Coach Mauricio Soria named him in the Bolivian squad for the 2015 Copa Am rica and Smedberg continued the fairy tale by scoring registering himself on the scoresheet against Ecuador.
Midfielder Bejarano said that his side had the belief they could advance, “We believe we can advance. We think only of winning the match in regulation time and advancing to the semi-finals. Each man will have to put their best to take the team forward.”
Bolivia possible starting lineup: Quinonez; Hurtado, Raldes, Zenteno, Morales; Smedberg, Bejerano, Chumacero, Escobar, Pedriel; Martins
Peru did extremely well for themselves as they survived the “group of death” by beating Venezuela and drawing Colombia in their final match of the group stage. A loss against Brazil didn’t end their Copa America and they are the favorites in this tie and could reach the semi-final comfortably.
However, coach Ricardo Gareca was quick to dismiss any idea that his side were clear favorites in the tie. “We accept the idea of favouritism, but we have to look at it another way,” he said. “For the outside perhaps there is favouritism, but not for us.”
The Peruvians have been relatively successful in this tournament, having reached the quarter-final seven times in the last eight Copa Americas. Former Bayern Munich striker Paolo Guerrero enjoyed a wonderful campaign last time and much was expected from him this time too, but the player has failed to deliver. Gareca would hope the striker can end his drought against the Bolivians.
Guerrero is likely to partner Bayern Munich veteran striker Claudio Pizarro in the attack. It is unlikely whether Jefferson Farfan would start but if Guerrero and Pizarro both start, Farfan could be receded to the bench.
Central midfielder Carlos Lobaton and winger Christian Cueva have both been pretty effective for the Peruvians thus far. Fiorentina winger Juan Manuel Vargas, an excellent attacker and dribbler of the ball, could also have a big say on the game. Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese has also been a very important player for the side so far. He has allowed just two goals in three games and is enjoying a fine time between the posts.
Peru possible starting lineup: Gallese; Advincula, Zambrano, Ascues, Vargas; Lobaton, Cueva, Sanchez, Ballon; Pizarro, Guerrero
- Since September 2011, there have been four games, all of which have ended in draws.
- Peru have defeated Bolivia on 22 occasions and lost 13 times.
- Bolivia notched their first Copa win since 1997 when they beat Ecuador in the group stage
Christian Cueva (Peru)
Cueva has been the liveliest Peruvian player, averaging 1.3 shots and three dribbles per game. The 23 year old could keep veteran Jefferson Farfan, from Schalke 04, on the bench and his performances in this tournament have caught the eye of many. He plays for Club Alianza Lima, a Peruvian football club. He spent some time on loan at Spanish club Rayo Vallecano. Perhaps an impressive tournament could earn him a permanent call to Europe. After his impressive display against Colombia, Cueva said he was grateful to coach Gareca for his growth.
Bolivia 0 Peru 2
Bolivia have struggled to score and have had a leaky defence so far. Against Peru, much is not expected to change. Peru have enough attacking threat to comfortably see their opponents off.