Peru claim key win in World Cup qualifying

Mauricio SavareseAP
Peru players celebrate their important World Cup qualifying win over Colombai in Barranquilla.
Camera IconPeru players celebrate their important World Cup qualifying win over Colombai in Barranquilla. Credit: AP

Peru have celebrated a 1-0 away win over Colombia in a key result as they bid for a second consecutive World Cup finals appearance.

Half-time substitute Edison Flores scored the winning goal in the 85th minute in Barranquilla to seal his country's third consecutive victory in the South American qualifiers.

Peru jumped up to fourth place in the 10-team qualifying group, a point ahead of fifth-placed Uruguay.

The top four teams qualify automatically for Qatar 2022 while the fifth-place side go into a playoff with a team from the Asian confederation.

Peru play again Tuesday at home against third-placed Ecuador, who can secure their ticket to the final with a victory.

Coach Ricardo Gareca said Peru scored a key win at Colombia, but insisted his team will face three finals until the end of qualifying.

"We know we depend on our efforts and this team has to fight in each final. We have another one on Tuesday, and we are ready for that," he said.

"We are facing tough teams that are also in need (of points)."

After Ecuador, Peru will take on Uruguay away and Paraguay at home in March.

Colombia and Peru started the night tied on 17 points and though the hosts made most of the running, they were hurt by their old failings in front of goal -- they have not scored in their past six World Cup qualifiers.

"This streak is unexplainable," coach Reinaldo Rueda said.

"When they have opportunities to score, the goal is closed."

Colombia are away at second-placed Argentina on Tuesday, desperate to overturn their recent lack of goals and wins.

In Friday's late game, a Salomon Rondon hat-trick led bottom-of-the-table Venezuela to a 4-1 victory over Bolivia.

The striker scored in the 25th, 35th and 67th minutes while Darwin Machis also scored for the hosts.

Bruno Miranda replied for Bolivia in the 38th minute.

Brazil (36 points) and Argentina (32) have already qualified for the finals while Ecuador are on 24 points, four clear of Peru.

Uruguay, 19 points, are again sitting in the play-off spot with Colombia (18), Chile (16), Bolivia (15), Paraguay (13) and Venezuela (10) behind them chasing points

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