All the excitement and goals saved so far in the Copa América was uncovered in Goiana. Peru, troubled by its own setbacks, was able to overcome a rugged Paraguay that embittered the victory in regulation time with a gol in extremis (3-3). The Andean team made less mistakes in the penalty shoot-out and closed its place in the semifinals of the tournament. Without leader Paolo Guerrero, absent due to a knee injury, the Peruvians rely on Lapadula’s goals.
With so many changes in the turbulent 2020, Lapadula became a Peruvian national. The Torino-born footballer resigned from Italy to play for the Peruvian national team. He played a couple of knockout games with communicating with a run over Spaniard, but who understood how to understand with his teammates. This time against Paraguay he shone with two key goals and one more on penalties. The Benevento striker from Serie A did not fail.
In the quarterfinals of the Copa América, bravery is unnecessary. Between Peru and Paraguay they accumulated up to four fouls in the first five minutes. It was the omen of a tough game. The well-trained red-haired team took the lead. Paraguay had been left headless before the loss due to injury of Miguel Almirón.
Eduardo Berizzo appealed for solidarity among the Paraguayans and for them to find the smooth head of Carlos González, their center forward, as quickly as possible. It was not necessary. In one of the first stopped ball plays, from the corner, they found the goal. Full-back Héctor Martínez headed in and goalkeeper Gallese took her off the line. Like a bull, Captain Gustavo Gómez entered for the 0-1. It seemed the Guarani tranquility, but in a blink Peru tied. The skillful André Carrillo took the right lane to deliver a great flush pass to Gianluca Lapadula. The Peruvian Italian was a ball of oxygen for an Andean team that was revolting in its own errors in defense.
Carrillo again opened holes in Paraguay. Little Christian Cueva saw a chess move from Lapadula and gave him the ball. The Peruvian forward kicked after a spin and passed the ball under the feet of goalkeeper Silva. At that moment the Guarani began to crumble.
Gomez, the Paraguayan captain, put his foot down himself. The center-back claimed the 2-1 play and earned the yellow card. Before the end of the first half, he again reproached the referee for a foul against and was sent off. The Paraguayan had to be detained by his companions due to his unbridled state.
Paraguay was entrusted to a lucky play. And they found it on the foot of defender Junior Alonso who found it 2-2. Peru attacked more. Coach Ricardo Gareca found a goal partner for Lapadula with Santiago Ormeño. The Peruvian insistence found its reward with a lucky goal from Yoshimar Yotún, deflected by the albirroja defense. It seemed to be the Andean victory. Looked like. In the last minute, the Paraguayans played against Peruvian anxiety. André Carrillo, the best of Peru, lost the track and was sent off for a double yellow. An error that deprives him of the semifinals.
In the last minute, Paraguay’s substitute striker Gabriel Ábalos fought a shot in the area until the goal came. Soulful blow for the Incas. On penalties, Yoshimar Yotún regained all confidence with a goal at Panenka. Ormeño and Cueva got their shots wrong. The Paraguayans missed three shots, Peru only twice. Tournament of frustration for a Berizzo who ran out of ideas, a pass to the semifinals that congratulated Gareca’s work and Lapadula’s goals.
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