Peru Vs. New Zealand
CONMEBOL/OFC Inter-Confederation Playoffs (2nd leg)
Date: 16 Nov 2017
Time: 2:15 am (GMT)
Venue: Estadio Nacional de Lima, Lima, Peru
Peru and New Zealand will battle out each other for the final time on Thursday for their destiny in Russia 2018.
Match Preview: Peru Vs. New Zealand
After the cautious first leg in New Zealand which ended as a 0-0 draw, it’s all to play for the South American side, Peru, and New Zealand from Asia-oceanic region in Lima in the second leg. Only one nation among them can join the elite teams in next summer’s FIFA World Cup and their chances hinge on a single game after a multiple number of matches and thousands of kilometers covered in this world cup campaign.
The All Whites impressed against a much higher ranked team in Wellington on Saturday and they will travel to South America knowing that a goal draw will see them through to Russia. Neither New Zealand nor the Peruvian side could break the deadlock despite Peru being the better side throughout the match. Kiwis’ stopper, Stefan Marinovic produced a scrambling goal-line save to deny Peru, who also denied Aldo Corzo in the second half. New Zealand did well to hold on until the final minutes and almost snatched a winner at last with Ryan Thomas’ powerful volley went agonizingly wide of the post.
Peru was always favorite to get the world cup ticket against New Zealand after pipping the likes of Chile in the South American qualification, but New Zealand put out a real fight to contain the brilliant Peruvian side and now can fancy their chances in Lima. The Kiwis missed out in Brazil 2014 but their unbeaten run in Group stage in South Africa 2010 was one of the memorable parts of that world cup.
The Peruvian side never came close to qualifying for the world cup since 1982, and now after 36 years, they have all the chances of the world on their side to get into the football’s biggest competition. A win by any margin in Lima and Peru will represent South America in Russia 2018 alongside Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Columbia.
Possible starting lineup: Peru Vs. New Zealand
Peru certainly missed their star striker Paolo Guerrero in the first leg, and they will once again be without him as the striker continues to face his suspension. Otherwise, the Peruvian don’t have any injuries or suspension. Ricardo Gareca is expected to field a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with no significant changes from the first leg.
Peru’s possible starting lineup against New Zealand
Defenders: Corzo(R), Ramos(M), Rodriguez(M), Trauco(L)
Defensive Midfielders: Tapia(M), Yotun(M)
Midfielders: Carrillo(R), Cueva(M), Flores(L)
Burnley striker, Chris Wood started on the bench and just played 15 minutes in Wellington. But with New Zealand needing the goal he might get into action soon. Kiwis’ Captain once again will be the key man for them, and him along with Boxall and Smith should demonstrate their A-game if they are to produce a shocking result on Thursday. The All whites will be in a defensive 5-3-2 formation.
New Zealand’s possible starting lineup against Peru
Defenders: Colvey(R), Boxall(M), Reid(M), Smith(M), Wynne(L)
Midfielders: Lewis(R), McGlinchey(M), Thomas(L)
Forwards: Rojas(R), Barbarouses(L)
Prediction: Peru Vs. New Zealand
Only Brazil and Chile left with three points during qualification from the altitude-affected Estadio Nacional de Lima, and it’s going to be a long night for New Zealand in Peru. It’s inevitable that the Kiwis will go all defensive, but I still predict a 1-0 win for Peru.