Peru and Mexico played to a 1-1 draw in an international friendly that served both teams as a warm-up for the Copa América. The Peruvians dominated large stretches of the match, but great goalkeeping from Alfredo Talavera kept the hosts from running away with the game, and Miguel Herrera used his substitutions to good effect in the second half.
Herrera made seven changes to the team that defeated Guatemala 3-0 over the weekend, and most of the seven new faces did very little to make their case for playing time in the Copa América. With the exception of Alfredo Talavera and Javier Aquino, Mexico as a whole provided very few bright spots in the first half.
A dominant Peruvian team created numerous chances, but “Tala” was able to prevent them from capitalizing on any of them with a series of fine saves, including three inside the first 10 minutes of the match.
Mexico’s defense had looked vulnerable throughout the opening 45 minutes, and Hugo Ayala came on for Rafa Márquez at halftime after the aging Márquez had been beat for speed a few times too many in the first half.
However, Ayala ended up playing a large role in Peru’s opening goal. A sliding clearance attempt very nearly turned into an own goal, with only the post saving Ayala from opening the scoring for the wrong team. The ball stayed alive after hitting the post, though, and Jefferson Farfán was the first to react, poking the ball home from close range in the 63rd minute.
More subs appeared in the immediate aftermath of that goal, with Luis Montes and José “Tecatito” Manuel Corona entering the game. Corona provided a spark of energy and Peru’s Pedro Requena earned a yellow card in the 74th minute for essentially mugging the youngster as he tried to get down the wing. “Tecatito” petulantly kicked out at Requena after the referee finally blew the whistle, which could have earned him a card of his own and kicked off a bit of a scuffle between the two teams.
When order had been restored, Luis Montes swung the ensuing free kick into the box and Juan Carlos Valenzuela headed it home to tie the game 1-1. Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese had come off his line but had no chance of getting the ball, allowing Valenzuela to nod it into an empty net.
Two minutes later, Requena earned his second yellow card of the night and the ensuing red, leaving Mexico with a man advantage for the final 12 minutes and stoppage time. “El Tri” was unable to put their extra man to good use, however, and when the final whistle blew the spoils were shared as Peru and Mexico drew 1-1.
Next up for Mexico is one last pre-Copa América warm-up game, this one against Brazil on Sunday.
Peru: Pedro Gallese, Carlos Ascues, Carlos Augusto Zambrano, Luis Advíncula (Pedro Requena 52′), Christian Alberto Cueva (José Yordy Reyna 68′), Josepmir Aarón Ballón, Jair Céspedes, Joel Sánchez (Hansell Riojas 80′), Carlos Lobatón (Paolo Hurtado 67′), Jefferson Farfán (Claudio Miguel Pizarro 73′), José Paolo Guerrero.
Mexico: Alfredo Talavera, Gerardo Flores, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Rafael Márquez (Hugo Ayala 45′), Julio César Domínguez, Javier Aquino (Jesús Manuel Corona 66′), Juan Carlos Medina (Javier Güemez 59′), Marco Fabián (Luis Montes 65′), Efraín Velarde, Enrique Esqueda (Eduardo Herrera 70′), Raúl Jiménez (George Corral 87′).