Peru draw Colombia, advance to Copa America quarterfinals

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Peru drew Colombia 0-0 in Copa America group-stage play and have solidified a spot in the quarterfinals.

Colombia have moved past the Copa America group stage for eight of the last nine tournaments and will do so again with Brazil’s victorious result against Venezuela.

Jose Pekerman’s side got off to a quick start on the attack and were clearly pushing hard with the aim of mounting an early lead.

In the fourth minute, James Rodriguez curled a well-intended cross that dealt with well by the Peru defense, but the following corner kick had the visitor on its heels, with AS Monaco’s Radamel Falcao firing on frame to compel goalkeeper Pedro Gallese into a tough stop.

[RELATED: PST’s Copa America coverage]

Four minutes later, it was more strong offense from Los Cafeteros and quality build-up that afforded defender Pablo Armero a good chance on the left, though his strike blazed into the side netting.

Peru began to tighten up and ward off their opposition’s threats, despite an inability able to throw forward their own threatening opportunities.

Toward the half, however, after James nearly slipped Falcao through on a excellent ball that was called offside, Claudio Pizarro–replaced by Jefferson Farfan in the 56th minute–put Guerrero through with an accurate ball. Facing Cristian Zapata, he dribbled for space and zipped his effort wide of the post.

The second half saw Peru playing for a tie while also generating decent chances on frame.

But Colombia had their occasions, notably in the 69th minute when Teófilo Gutiérrez fed Rodriguez and the young star watched his attempt on goal get thwarted. Peru couldn’t clear it away to prevent ensuing danger, and Gallese had to come up big and stuff midfielder Jackson Martinez on the rebounded effort.

Ten minutes went by, and James almost caused the match-deciding penalty kick. He made a crafty run at the back line and coaxed Carlos Lobaton into a challenge that drew the penalty, mere inches outside of the penalty box.

In the final minute of stoppage time, James saw his shot from close-range blocked, a fitting conclusion to the first-class display of Peru’s defensive awareness for the majority of the match.