Last night’s World Cup qualifying match in Lima against the lively Peruvian hosts didn’t exactly go as planned for Argentina. A blundered pass-back from captain Javier Mascherano led to Peru securing a 2-2 draw against a frustrated Argentine squad. Usually know for his heroic performances that turned him into an instant legend in the last World Cup, strictly blamed himself for the result.
“Because of my mistake, we lost three points. It sucks,” Mascherano told TyC Sports.
The calamity as it happened: With less than 10 minutes until the final whistle Argentina was 2-1 up against an eager Peruvian side. However, a sloppy pass from Mascherano straight to pacy Peru striker, Paolo Guerrero left lone defender Ramiro Funes Mori with too much to handle. A foul in the penalty box saw a yellow for Mori and a penalty for Peru. A confident conversion from Christian Cueva saw Argentine heads drop as Peru bought it all square, ending the game a draw.
A devastated Mascherano did not take his mistake well off the pitch as well as on it:
“I take responsibility. I would be a hypocrite if I failed to do that,” Mascherano said.
A quick-round up of the game:
The first goal came from Argentina 16 minutes in, when Ramiro Funes Mori converted from a corner seeing him open up his international goal tally. The game didn’t see another goal until the second half. Peruvian striker Guerrero skilfully took a lofted ball to the chest followed by a half-volley to equalize at the 58th minute mark.
A clever chip of the Peruvian keeper from Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín pushed the Argentines ahead at 77 minutes. However the unfortunate Argentine pass leading to the fateful penalty soon followed, ending the match 2-2.
This result leaves Argentina at fifth in the table, sharing 16 points alongside third-place Ecuador and fourth-place Colombia. Rivals Brazil stands in second-place with 18 points while Uruguay tops the table with 19 points after nine games.
Argentina’s next chance to gain some points will be against Paraguay on October 11.