Argentina closed the triple round of the qualifying rounds with seven points out of nine, four goals in favor and none against, and the tranquility of knowing that only a miracle can prevent qualification for the World Cup in Qatar. Also with the certainty that you are on the right track to achieve a great collective performance that improves good individualities. Without shining like against Uruguay, without that touch that excites and with a bit of luck due to the penalty that Yotún failed, the Argentine team deservedly won, but this time it was indebted to the people who, in addition to the victory, went to look for the festival.
After two crossed shots at the start of the game (De Paul at 41 seconds from the right and Di María at both from the left), it seemed that things were going to be very simple, but it was a false alarm. The neat arrangement of the Peruvians, with everyone behind the line of the ball made things difficult in the first stage. With Di María on the left, Messi more turned to the right and Lo Celso on the loose, Scaloni’s team patiently tried to provoke the association in short in the last Peruvian lines, but failed a lot in the passes and repeatedly fell into the woven web by those of Gareca. It was only at the end of the stage that the goal came from above. Standing against the line, the always incisive Molina received a pass from Lo Celso, played first, looked for the wall with De Paul, went to look for the return against the line at the bottom and put it on the head of Lautaro Martínez, who put an unassailable header. So far the former Racing striker had done very little, but his precise definition was worth three points.
In the second half again the illusion of football that enchants with a couple of collective matches was lit, but as the minutes passed the Argentine team began to fade. Di María intervened less, Messi, perhaps tired with this marathon, failed a lot in the passes and was slow in more than one play and the Peruvians were making the defensive task easier. The entry of Farfán by Lapadula gave the visiting team a bit of depth and after 17 minutes the Monumental was frozen when goalkeeper Martínez penalized the Peruvian number 10. Yotún threw it and the ball hit the crossbar to all the joy of the people who, before the auction, chanted “Draw eats it.” Martinez did not eat it, worse Yotún gave him badly and those of Gareca no longer had any other opportunity.
In the last part of the match, Scaloni’s team devoted itself more to controlling the game than to seeking to extend the advantage. Something similar to what had happened in the draws with Chile and Colombia, in those qualifying matches prior to the Copa América.
The Peruvians play well, they have good technique but it is difficult for them to generate goal situations. For this reason, with one who cannot and another who does not want too much, the game became heavy in the second half.
Argentina already has half a classification in its pocket. Now Uruguay in Montevideo and Brazil in San Juan are coming in November. Surely in those games the team will be able to show that it is up for much more than what it exhibited against Peru.