Peru defeated Bolivia 3-1 in the Copa America quarterfinals last night to qualify for a semifinals match against tournament host Chile.
Paolo Guerrero scored two goals in the first 23 minutes of a game in which Peru dominated its Andean neighbor whose defense had no answer for Peru’s star striker. Guerrero scored his first goal with a header off a cross pass from Juan Manuel Vargas in the 20th minute.
Less than three minutes later, Christian Cueva placed a perfect pass which allowed Guerrero to get behind Bolivia’s defense to beat goaltender Romel Quinonez one-on-one. The two goals which came so close together and so early in the game sapped the spirit of the Bolivian squad.
In the second half, Guerrero interception of a Bolivian defenseman’s pass to another defenseman gave him a clear run at the goal, beating Quinonez one-on-one again.
Bolivia prevented the shutout after Peruvian defenseman Luis Advincula tripped Bolivian attacker Damian Lizio. Bolivian striker Martins Moreno scored the ensuing penalty shot to make the game 3-1 with just minutes left to play.
Guerrero’s historic performance, his second Copa America hat trick after scoring three goals against Venezuela in 2011, silenced critics who pointed out his lack of production in Peru’s first three games of the tournament. His three goals last night brought his all-time total for Peru’s national selection to 24, tying him with Teodoro “Lolo” Fernandez for second place. Guerrero needs two goals to match Peru’s all-time top-scorer Teofilo Cubillas.
If Peru’s national selection can beat the tournament host Chile, Peru will advance to its first Copa America Finals since 1975, when it beat Colombia to win the championship. The game will be played at the national stadium in Santiago on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
Tonight Argentina faces Colombia and Brazil takes on Paraguay tomorrow to determine the teams in the other semifinals match.
Watch all four goals from last night’s game below.
Schedule (Copa America)