Colombian conspiracy? Peru & Colombia at center of World Cup match-fixing fiasco


It was the Argentine who killed off Peru's hopes of earning a place in the 1986 World Cup with his late goal in a decisive qualifier in Buenos Aires.

With news circulating the arena that Brazil had taken the lead against Chile, and Lionel Messi was dragging Argentina to Russian Federation singlehandedly, nerves were high as Peru searched for an equalizer. Momentum isn't on their side but history is, as Colombia have won four straight qualifiers over Peru. "We have got a serious chance and we will be looking forward to it".

Tapia also said the result had been discussed on the field but also said his team would always play to win.

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero stopped short of saying they would win, but did have reasonably high confidence levels. One thing that won't be argued is that the 1-1 draw was enough to send Colombia through, and to send Peru to the inter-continental playoff against New Zealand. Los Incas will now have to face off against New Zealand over two legs between November 6 and 14. "But for us to get there we need to be at our very best, the biggest performance of the last three years".

Their extensive experience with travel - having played in New Zealand, Fiji, the United States, New Caledonia, Northern Ireland, Belarus, Russia, the Solomon Islands and Japan in the past 12 months - would hold them in good stead.

"I spoke to Falcao and he told me that we were both ahead [in qualifying]", Peru's Renato Tapia said, per AS.

"But I think Peru has been a worthy rival, they fought for 90 minutes just like us".

But that seems less of a prospect now, as the Albiceleste should either qualify automatically or may miss the World Cup altogether, which would be a seismic shock for the footballing world.

After consulting with Ricardo Gareca on the Inca bench, the hosts proceeded to stroke the ball casually around their area, with neither team making an effort to break a deadlock that sent Chile out of the finals.