We suffered so much. “Don’t you remember the goal that Justiano missed?” Braulio tells me, in the middle of the route along the main avenue of Saransk (in Russia). The spontaneous fan approaches to ask me to appear, with his huge two-color glasses, in the video that I am recording before the match between Peru-Denmark. It was the debut of our team in the World Cup 2018. “Do you see how I take a deep breath all the time? Not only is it the emotion, it is almost a sequel to how I stayed in Peru-Bolivia “, the fan says goodbye and gets lost near the bridge that leads to the Mordovia Arena stadium. It had been a long walk that afternoon on June 16, 2018. As long as the ones that took us to the Monumental on August 31, 2017. That night, the anguish began very early.
“What I remember most about that game is all the stress we had to get to the stadium. There were many last minute changes, even the bus had to go against the traffic in a part of Javier Prado. Go figure”, Juan Carlos Oblitas, sports director of the Peruvian Football Federation. This decisive match also had to be decided from the logistics area. Against Bolivia, it was going to be the only match that Peru was going to be local outside of the National Stadium.
A lack of coordination between the FPF and the Peruvian Sports Institute complicated the locality before the green square. Two weeks before the Peru-Bolivia, the Marc Anthony and Carlos Vives concert was held. So much dance and tropical rhythm ended up destroying the optimal conditions of the lawn in “the home of the national team.” For that time, Ricardo Gareca he had already begun to prioritize the state of the field. The specialists made the revisions after the massive recital and the conclusion was quick: he was not going to reach one hundred percent for the game. It was urgent to find a plan B and the Monumental de Ate was chosen.
It was curious that it was precisely a concert by Marc Anthony the one who changes Gareca’s plans. The ‘Tigre’ associated the Puerto Rican singer with sporting misadventures, since a sound check of the Puerto Rican made one of his trainings suspend when he was a technician of University of Sports.
“Everything was in lightning time, but it was possible. Try the internet signal, it is in better condition ”. A) Yes We were welcomed by Romina Antoniazzi, then the national team’s press officer. To avoid the stress experienced by the national team on the way to the stadium, the coverage team for this newspaper left for Ate four hours before the game.
Bolivia lived up to
Anyway, those led by Mauricio Soria showed order and were disciplined in the brand, especially in the first half. From the initial stage it was clear that it was not going to be easy.
There were news in the starting eleven of Peru. Gallese’s injury determined the ownership of Cáceda and Jefferson Farfan he was turning back after almost a year and a half away. “We were far superior, but it was difficult for us to get to the bottom of the rival area. We solved it in another way “Oblitas remembers. The goalless equality of the first half began to cause shocks in the crowded stands of the Monumental.
Peru qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia by a list of good decisions. We were able to celebrate one of them against Bolivia. If depth cost, it only remained to finish from outside the area. And in five minutes, the bicolor made the difference and gave us euphoria and then gave way to a brief calm (of 13 minutes exactly).
At 54 minutes, Edison Flores He warned that his auctions were going to bring us closer to the dream of children. ‘Orejas’ made the development of the game more relaxed with his goal. We were still recovering from aphonia and Christian Cueva repeated the winning formula. That 2-0 led to a moment of confused happiness. We began to make calculations, to review the results of the other teams until Gilbert Álvarez took advantage of a defensive lack of coordination, and a bad start from Cáceda, to put the discount that led us to a soccer anguish that, four years later, continues to accelerate us the heartbeats.
It was twenty minutes with Peru puzzled and with Bolivia advancing lines. The catastrophic flirted with reality. “If we do not suffer, it is not worth it”said that night the always remembered Daniel Peredo. In the last play of the match, Jasmani Campos sent a cross to the Peruvian area. Goalkeeper Carlos Lampe, who had run from arc to arc, jumped and made the play more diffuse. The ball was bouncing in front of the national goal and Leonel Justiniano shot hard. Deflected by millimeters. Luis Advíncula looked up at the sky, Jefferson Farfán took his head, and Ricardo Gareca took a pause on the bench. Then came the game in Quito. We never recover from aphonia. It lasted us several months and came back when we were parading excitedly towards the Saransk stadium.