The key men in an all-out Peru attack

The equation is simple for the Socceroos – nothing but a win will do, and hope France get the job done against Denmark.

In the way is Peru, a side without a goal or a point at their first FIFA World Cup™ since 1982 but not for a lack of trying.

If they’re to win their first FIFA World Cup match since 1978, then the key men for them are undoubtedly those at the front end of the pitch.

They can wreak havoc, and if the Socceroos aren’t careful they just might.



Luis Advíncula

The fastest player at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Luis Advíncula has the ability to cause real problems for the Socceroos up the right-hand flank.

One of Peru’s most experienced internationals with 69 caps, Advíncula made his debut for the national team back in 2010.

He has played in both of Peru’s group stage matches so far and has made an impact, with blistering runs down the right-hand side troubling opposition defences.

His club career hasn’t been consistent of late with stints in Mexico, Argentina, Turkey, and Portugal in the last four years, but it hasn’t impacted on his ability to perform on the international stage.

Potentially facing the likes of Robbie Kruse and Aziz Behich down the Socceroos left-hand flank, the Aussies will need to be on their game to nullify any impact Advíncula may have on proceedings.


Christian Cueva

He missed a penalty which could have secured all three points against Denmark but nonetheless, Christian Cueva is one of the biggest threats Peru can wheel out against Australia.

Cueva made his debut for Peru in a friendly against Australia’s rivals Japan back in 2011 and will sit just one shy of 50 appearances for his nation after Tuesday’s match.

Christian Cueva Peru
Cueva missed a penalty against Denmark, but hasn't dwelled on his mistake.

The 26-year-old wears the number eight for Peru but operates more like a number ten, getting forward with pace and affecting proceedings at the front end of the pitch.

Tapped to take a penalty which he won against Denmark, he swept his shot over the bar and looked inconsolable afterwards. Cueva performed well in Peru’s second group stage match against France and looks to have put that miss in the rear-view mirror.

Cueva plays his club football for Brazillian side São Paolo and has scored nine goals for the side since he signed in 2016.

Pedro Aquino

One of Peru’s youngest players in the FIFA World Cup squad, Pedro Aquino has the potential to be a real threat for Australia come Tuesday.

Promoted to the starting side for the France match after coming on as a late substitute against Denmark, Aqunio went close and rattled the frame of the goal early in the second half.

Paolo Aquino Peru
Aquino can split defences from the deep.

He made his debut for the national team in 2016 against Bolivia, in a match which Peru lost 2-0.

Operating predominantly as a holding midfielder, Aquino has the ability to pick out that perfect defence-splitting pass from the deep or fire off a wicked shot from outside the area.

Allowing this man time on the ball may not be the best move for Australia. Aquino has just 16 caps for his country, but his undoubted talent trumps a relative lack of international experience.


Paolo Guerrero

The captain, the talisman, the all-time leading goalscorer. Fresh off an international campaign to allow him to play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Paolo Guerrero looms large ahead of the clash with Australia.

The most-capped player (90) in the national team, the 34-year-old has scored 34 goals for his nation in an international career that began way back in 2004.

He was a huge part Peru sides which finished third at both the 2011 and 2015 Copa America and lead the goalscoring charts in each match.

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero
Leading goal-scorer, talisman, captain. For Australia: a threat.

Set to miss Peru’s first FIFA World Cup appearance since 1982 due to a drugs ban which had ruled him out for 14 months, an overruling of the ban by a Swiss supreme court paved the way for Guerrero to play.

He’s called Germany and Brazil home in a career which has seen him score 134 goals for four clubs, including Bayern Munich. Guerrero seen a good chance saved by Hugo Lloris in Peru’s clash with France – Australia can’t allow him any space.

Jefferson Farfán

Usually a winger or forward, Farfán played as a No.10 in behind Paolo Guerrero in Peru’s loss to France and proved his experience could be crucial if they want a result against Australia. However, there is also a chance Farfán won't make the pitch in Sochi, having suffered a shock head knock at training which forced him to be taken to hospital.

Perhaps the most experienced player in the Peru squad, Farfán is four caps short of captain Paolo Guerrero (90) with 86 but made his international debut back in February 2003, and has scored 25 goals for his country.

Jefferson Farfan
Farfán has pedigree, ability, and experience.

He scored a goal in Peru’s 2-0 home win over New Zealand which secured their place in Russia and has played for clubs like PSV Eindhoven and Schalke 04. He currently plays club football for Lokomotiv Moscow, in Russia.

Farfán created one of Peru’s best chances against France which seen Aquino hit the frame of the goal and hit the side netting with a half-chance late in the second-half.

Despite being regarded more as a creator of goals than a scorer, Farfán has scored a number for his country and 139 at club level in a senior career reaching back to 2001.