Argentina 4 – 0 Peru
It was bound to happen. Peru delayed the inevitable as much as possible with a correct approach and a well defended first half but the lack of attack eventually did them in. Oh yeah, and that Riquelme guy had a thing or two to do with it.
Riquelme was brilliant and again led his team to victory and did so with exquisite quality plays. An early second half goal opened the flood gates and the 2-0 was another Riquelme masterpiece giving Leo Messi an easy score. Messi gave a great effort in the first half with some exciting slalom style runs, but he always tries to make one dribble too many. Riquelme had the solution for the young kid, give him a through ball that required no dribbling, just a chip home to score. Mascherano later got in on the action and Juan Roman Riquelme again came through in the very end to wrap up the scoring.
A game Argentina very much deserved to win after controlling most of the possession and controlling the tempo of the game. Peru failed up front without Farfan, as expected. They defended very well actually but were did in by their lack of possession up front. Mariño played good although not great and Paolo Guerrero battled a lot but had to leave with an injury. Pizarro did a lot of nothing, ending a disppointing personal performance in the Copa America for the new Chelsea striker.
Argentina are now through and face Mexico next. A match up with a lot of history and emotions. Coco Basile will not have to tinker a lot and will basically spend the next couple of days debating over whether to start Diego Milito or Carlos Tevez at forward. Either way, as long as Riquelme is in the lineup the Che fans can breathe easily.
Juan Roman Riquelme. M, Argentina.
Still the face of Copa America 2007 so far. Robinho and Nery Castillo both tried to overshadow the Argentine midfielder but he only improved in the quarterfinals.
The Ugly Duckling
Claudio Pizarro. F, Peru.
A horrible tournament for Pizarro. The team captain was only able to make his mark with two set piece goals against Bolivia. At least he was smart enough to get his contract before the Copa America.