Colombia vs Peru: Defensive Colombians lack fire power to beat Gareca's men

No player looks forward to competing in a third-place play-off. But for Peru and Colombia it’s an opportunity to close out an impressive tournament on a positive note.

When: Saturday, July 10, 1am BST

How to watch: BBC Red Button

Where: Brasilia

Follow this game live via our score centre

Best bets

Peru to win and BTTS at 13/2

Three match goals at 14/5

Number of cards over 4.5 at 4/5

Luis Diaz to score anytime at 3/1

Ricardo Gareca can further solidify his reputation as one of Peru's all-time greats when his side take on Colombia for a bronze medal in the penultimate game of the Copa America. 

Since taking over as manager six years ago, Gareca has led the nation to their first World Cup appearance since 1982, a third-place finish at the 2015 Copa America and the final of the 2019 Copa America.

Winning a bronze medal this Saturday would be one of his biggest achievements considering the number of first-team players who are unavailable.

Ricardo Gareca during the pre-match press conference
Ricardo Gareca during the pre-match press conference

When it comes to these fixtures, there is always a question of motivation. Gareca admitted in his pre-match press conference that his side have already fulfilled expectations. With that in mind, will they have the necessary hunger to challenge for a third-place finish?

Colombia, on the other hand, come into this game on the back of a somewhat mixed tournament.

The side aren't exactly playing free flowing soccer and they were relatively average during the group stage. But then again, the fact they reached the semi-final and only lost to Argentina on penalties will give them a lot of encouragement.

One thing on their mind though will be revenge. Colombia and Peru clashed during the group stage of the competition with Los Incas running out 2-1 winners.

In fact, Colombia have historically struggled against Peru in this competition having managed just one win from their 12 most recent meetings.

Interestingly, the two teams have committed the most fouls at this year's Copa America with a 192 between them. What's more, only Venezuela and Bolivia have produced fewer shots on goal.

Bearing this in mind, it may be worth taking a look at a Peru victory and both teams to score at 13/2, plus number of bookings over 4.5 at 4/5

Last three matches

Colombia 1-2 Peru (2021 Copa America - June 21, 2021)

Peru's first win of the tournament came at the expense of Colombia.

Sergio Pena opened the scoring in the 17th minute after smashing a rebound into the middle of the net.

Colombia levelled the score in the second-half through a Miguel Borja penalty. The equaliser certainly set-up a thrilling half finish.

In the end though, it was Peru who grabbed the winner as Yerry Mina accidentally deflected the ball into his own goal.

Peru 0-3 Colombia (World Cup Qualifier - June 4, 2021)

Just a few weeks before the start of Copa America, the two nations clashed in a World Cup qualifier.

Colombia went on to prove that they can beat the Peruvians anytime as long as the game is not in the Copa America.

Goals from Mina, Mateus Uribe and Luis Diaz secured a comprehensive victory in Lima.

Colombia 1-0 Peru (Friendly - November 16, 2019)

A friendly international in Miami Gardens ended with a dramatic late winner for Colombia.

The solitary goal was scored in the 93rd minute as Alfredo Moreno's crunching header sealed the victory.

Last ten head-to-heads

Peru wins: 1

Draws: 3

Colombia wins: 6

Peru goals: 4

Colombia goals: 14

Gareca overcame serious problems

After serving his one match suspension, Andre Carrillo is in line to make his return for Peru. The midfielder - who scored two goals in the tournament - was sent-off in a dramatic quarter-final clash with Paraguay. His inclusion will undoubtedly boost Ricardo Gareca's side.

Apart from that, there aren't expected to be many changes.

Peru's Andre Carrillo
Peru's Andre Carrillo

One of the rocks inside of this Peruvian side has been the defensive midfield pairing of Renato Tapia and Yoshimar Yotun. With the exception of the 4-0 loss to Brazil, the midfield duo have impressed throughout the competition and will be key in this bronze medal match.

Another man to keep an eye on is Italian-born Gianluca Lapadula. The 31-year-old only joined the national team last year after using his mother's Peruvian background to make himself available for selection.

His addition was timely as Peru's all-time top scorer, Paolo Guerrero, is recovering from a knee injury and couldn't take part in the competition. 

Peru boss Ricardo Gareca speaks to Gianluca Lapadula
Peru boss Ricardo Gareca speaks to Gianluca Lapadula

Lapadula has been able to assert himself as the nation's number one striker in Guerrero's absence. Having already bagged two goals in the tournament, the Benevento forward could be the difference maker.

The expectations for Peru weren't high considering the likes of Guerrero, Edison Flores, Jefferson Farfan and Pedro Aquino were all ruled out due to injuries.

Despite this, Gareca has been able to tinker his way to the final four, and he could yet claim another medal to his growing collection.

2021 Copa America results…

Brazil 4-0 Peru

Colombia 1-2 Peru

Ecuador 2-2 Peru

Venezuela 0-1 Peru

Peru 3-3 Paraguay (4-3 Pens)

Brazil 1-0 Peru

Defensively minded Colombia struggling up front

Before the start of the tournament, the main headlines out of the Colombian camp surrounded the omission of Everton's James Rodriguez and Galatasaray's Radamel Falcao.

Lack of form, fitness issues and the need for fresh legs saw both men miss out on selection. However, Colombia's ability to reach the semi-final has certainly justified Reinaldo Rueda's decision.

Colombia's James Rodriguez
Colombia's James Rodriguez

The manager only recently took over the position however his defensive minded vision didn't take long to come into effect.

During the last three games of the tournament, Rueda has gone with the 4-4-2 formation. Their conservative style of football asked many questions of Brazil and took Argentina to a penalty shoot-out in the semi-final.

One man who they'll have to do without though is midfielder Mateus Uribe who sustained a muscle injury. Apart from that, Rueda is not expected to make too many changes.

Their main threat is likely to come from the two wide men in Juan Cuadrado and Luis Diaz. Between them, they have produced two goals and one assist; not bad going considering Colombia have only scored four goals in the tournament.

Colombia's Juan Cuadrado
Colombia's Juan Cuadrado

Another player to watch is Yerry Mina. The Everton centre-back certainly has a point to prove after missing a penalty in the semi-final and being mocked by Argentina's Lionel Messi.

What's more, in his last outing against Peru, it was Mina's own goal which helped the Peruvians to victory. One error besmirched a generally solid performance which included 12 recoveries, three clearances and three blocks.

2021 Copa America results

Colombia 1-0 Ecuador

Colombia 0-0 Venezuela

Colombia 1-2 Peru

Brazil 2-1 Colombia

Uruguay 0-0 Colombia (2-4 Pens)

Argentina 1-1 Colombia (3-2 Pens)

Goalscorer bets

The aforementioned Lapadula could stamp his name in Peru's history books should he help his nation to a bronze medal.

The forward has scored two goals in 339 minutes and is in good form. Before joining up with the national side, it's worth mentioning he bagged four goals in seven matches for Benevento.

At 23/10, he also offers good value in the anytime goalscorer market.

Luis Diaz  and Lionel Messi during the Copa America semi-final
Luis Diaz and Lionel Messi during the Copa America semi-final

From a Colombian perspective, Luis Diaz is the man to back. The FC Porto winger has scored Colombia's last two goals from open play.

What's more, he also offers good value at 3/1.

READ MORE: Five classic Italy vs England matches to remember ahead of Euro 2020 final

Latest Soccer Videos