With some headlines,
Peru tied 1-1 with Panama in a friendly match played this Sunday in Lima, without fans due to the third wave of covid, which served both teams in preparation for the continuity of the Qatar-2022 World Cup qualifier.
The Inca team, which is preparing for the next two dates of the South American qualifiers, opened the scoring with a goal from Alex Valera at 37 minutes. Panama with a goal from Abdiel Ayarza tied the game at 71.
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Peru will play another friendly with the Jamaican national team in the Peruvian capital. “These games help us get to know each other well for what’s to come in the qualifying rounds,” Valera said after the game.
In the next two qualifying dates, Peru will visit Colombia in Barranquilla on January 28, and will host Ecuador on February 1. Panama, led by Thomas Christiansen, is preparing to visit Costa Rica on January 27 for the Concacaf Octagonal qualifying round.
The vigorous canalera team is temporarily in fourth place in the table (14 units), which gives the right to a playoff. Meanwhile, the Inca squad has 17 points and also has the right to playoff for now by occupying fifth place, behind Colombia, which has the same number of units but better goal difference.
Without its main figures, Peru came out from the start of the match to seek its first victory of the year at the National Stadium, which looked without fans in its stands due to the pandemic.
The Peruvians played with alternate jerseys. With Valera as the only center forward and midfielder Andy Polo, they put pressure on the ‘canalero’ team. Panama with fast counterattacks from its players tried to disturb the Peruvian Pedro Gallese’s goal.
At 11, striker José Fajardo alone against goalkeeper Gallese misses the clearest opportunity to score. The local goalkeeper covered his goal well and avoided the first goal for Panama in a one-on-one with Fajardo.
After the first half of the first half, the Panamanian team grew in their game with Fajardo, striker Alberto Quintero and midfielder Abdiel Ayarza. At 37, Valera with a strong left-footed shot opened the score 1-0 after taking advantage of a rebound from goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera.
The goal was born after an offensive play by Argentine-Peruvian midfielder Horacio Calcaterra. After the goal in their favor, the Peruvian team, with good combinations of collective play, went on the attack to score again, but found a well-stopped rival defense.
And the draw came
In the second half, the Panamanian team led by Thomas Christiansen pressed the accelerator to tie the game. After the 68, Argentine coach Ricardo Gareca made two changes to strengthen his team’s midfield and settle the game. But Panama with shots from the air and with stopped balls was looking for equality in the duel. At 71, Ayarza with a shot from the left equalized the score 1-1 after taking advantage of a mistake made by the local defense. The shot leaked through goalkeeper Gallese’s right post.
“Panama came to do their job. Thank God the tie was given,” declared Ayarza. With the tie, the Peruvian team sought to overcome the score, but the visiting team did not drop their goal.
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