Peru and Colombia face-off to battle for the third spot at this edition of the Copa America, a game purely meant to restore pride than anything else.

Having fallen short of quality in the semifinals to Brazil and Argentina, respectively, Peru and Colombia are ready to restore some pride by clinching the third spot. Both those nations would have hoped for a place in the coveted final but now have nothing to play for other than finish the tournament on a high note.

In their semifinal against Brazil, Peru did play well, although a Lucas Paqueta goal prevented them from reaching consecutive Copa America finals. However, they will have to take heart from what’s left of the tournament and win against Colombia to clinch a third-place finish in the continental competition.

On the other hand, Colombia had a real chance to progress through to the final after dragging Argentina to a penalty shoot-out. However, three brilliant stops from Emiliano Martinez ensured any hopes of Los Cafeteros playing Brazil on Sunday’s final swiftly evaporated.

The Colombians were outside favourites at the beginning of the tournament, despite their recent form and the managerial change earlier in the year. However, with bad shape and some key players missing, they limped through the group phase and had to drag themselves through a penalty shoot-out win against Uruguay to reach the semis before falling to Lionel Messi’s Argentina.

However, they have this chance to salvage some pride by winning against Peru when they meet in Brasilia on Friday night. A third-place finish might not mean anything right now after the semifinal elimination, but no team would want to finish fourth either. So the expectation is that the teams show heart and challenge each other to keep reputations intact.

Team News & Tactics

Colombia

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Following their decent performance against Argentina in the semis, Reinaldo Rueda could be tempted to keep most of the side intact. However, he could also take this chance to play some of the players he might want to test. But, Mateus Uribe is no longer with the squad, withdrawing through a muscular injury.

That could force Rueda to field a double midfield pivot of Gustavo Cuellar and Wilmar Barrios. The manager could also take this chance to allow Miguel Borja to play alongside Duvan Zapata upfront. Meaning Juan Cuadrado, who started in a forward role against Argentina, could move back to his preferred wing position.

The Colombia manager could stick with his back four of Daniel Munoz, Yerry Mina, Davinson Sanchez and William Tesillo. David Ospina could have one more game in goal in what has been an exceptional tournament for him personally.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Ospina; Munoz, Mina, Sanchez, Tesillo; Cuadrado, Barrios, Cuellar, Diaz; Zapata, Borja

Peru

Among those missing the previous game for Peru, Andre Carrillo’s is the most prominent. The attacker was serving a suspension for a red card and is now available for selection. He will certainly be starting, meaning Ricardo Gareca could revert to his usual four at the back.

With that in mind, Gareca could also field a more attacking unit with Yoshimar Yotun and Renato Tapia sitting in front of the defence in a double midfield pivot. Carrillo and Christian Cueva will play as wide attackers, with Sergio Pena set to take up a central attacking role behind striker Lapadula.

In defence, Careca could stick with his usual full-backs in Aldo Corzo and Miguel Trauco, while Alexander Callens will start in central defence. The manager can replace Christian Ramos with Miguel Araujo, although Ramos will likely retain his place.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gallese; Corzo, Ramos, Callens, Trauco; Tapia, Yotun; Carrillo, Pena, Cueva; Lapadula

Form Guide

Colombia – D L L W L

Peru – W D W W L

Key Stats

  • Peru have lost twice in this Copa America edition, both times to Brazil.
  • Peru also played Colombia in the group stages, winning 2-1.
  • Colombia managed only one win in normal time in the entire tournament.
  • Colombia have played in two penalty shootouts in the tournament, winning one.

Player to Watch

Juan Cuadrado

The key man for Colombia. (Photo courtesy - Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The key man for Colombia. (Photo courtesy – Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Juventus winger would have been disappointed with the outcome of the last game and will be hoping to have more of an impact against Peru. Cuadrado would have liked to have a terrific tournament considering the reputation he carries, but the loss of key players before the tournament cost Colombia dearly.

However, the former Chelsea star can show his nation there’s a lot left to offer, and a good showing against Peru will go a long way in keeping reputations intact for his national side after an underwhelming tournament.

Prediction

Peru 0-2 Colombia

Colombia come into this game still as heavyweights of the continent. However, unlike Peru, they stood a chance to reach the final only for their penalty shooters to fail them. Los Cafeteros will come into this game with fire in their bellies and aim to beat Peru to the third spot.

Peru, meanwhile, will be feeling likewise and hoping their tournament ends with a win and a third place. However, they might lack the actual quality to beat Colombia, having lost three of their last four fixtures against their Friday’s opponents, although they did beat them in the group stages. Nonetheless, expect Reinaldo Rueda’s men to win and clinch the third-place finish at Copa America 2021.

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