The gray of the shirt was the detail that caught the most attention this Sunday when the peruvian national team he made his first official appearance in 2022. But it was certainly not the most important thing. Neither does the result. The friendly against Panama serves to prepare the two games for playoffs that are coming, keys to define the future of the Peruvian team.
It is true that many players who are regular starters were missing (Tapia, Yotún, Carrillo, Cueva, Lapadula, among others), but that does not mean that conclusions cannot be drawn. Here, a line-by-line analysis of what Peru showed at the National Stadium.
Against Colombia, Peru will not have Luis Advincula and Miguel Trauco. So the four who lined up this Sunday are likely to be the starters in the next Playoffs game. Three of them are fixed: Ramos, Callens and Trauco. In the friendly, the pair of central defenders showed that they continue to understand each other perfectly and that individually they maintain the level of last year. It is true that they did not play with the level of urgency of other duels, but
The thing about López is also notable. The winger continues to grow as a footballer. It’s fast, smart and safe on the mark. Hopefully his injury is not serious and he can be in Barranquilla. Loyola’s is not bad, but in a few minutes he made a mistake and Panama’s goal came. These details are, many times, what differentiate the teams that do not qualify with those that do.
The starting right back of the match was Aldo Corzo, who years ago proved to be ready to play high-level matches with the bicolor. Today he does not seem to be at his best. He has not lost the attitude with which he always plays, but he was not very participative in attack and not very confident in defense. Jhilmar Lora is always an option in that position and even Oslimg Mora can play there.
The steering wheel
Gareca opted for the usual: two central midfielders, one with a more defensive cut (Castillo) and another with a more offensive tendency (Gonzales), a little above them a hitch (Calcaterra). It is an area of the field where Peru has several options: Tapia, Yotún, Aquino, Cartagena and even Cueva, because many times he is the ’10’ of the team.
what of Castle is interesting. He has a good foot, he plays vertical, fast and precise, but today he lacked more presence in the brand. It is not an easy position and it was noticeable when Garcés entered.
Christopher was the most outstanding today on the wheel. From midfield upwards, the clearest of all. He broke lines, combined in first, and even finished off the goal. Today he seems to be the undisputed starter in Gareca’s team.
what of calcaterra is important because it continues to prove that it is a safe replacement option. The midfielder ensures consistent performance throughout the match, never stops running and is experienced in timing.
Let’s start at the ends. Edison Flores and Andy Polo played today. The two are trying to rediscover their best versions. One has been a fundamental piece and the other a replacement option since Gareca came to the national team in 2015. How did we see them against Panama? Flores is still not the decisive footballer in attack and Polo needs to be 100% physically, his speed is his main weapon to generate danger.
Alex Valeria played center forward, who scored the only goal for the team after taking advantage of a rebound in the area and defining practically without a goalkeeper. He was not very participative and when he played it it was more to support himself with his companions. Although he did not play a bad game, his performance leaves us with the usual feeling: that only Lapadula, Guerrero and Farfán are ready to fill the position.