Opponent watch: Peru showing strong form

Peru looks in ominous form heading towards the FIFA World Cup, beating Scotland 2-0 in a friendly in Lima on Wednesday.

Ricardo Gareca’s side dominated from the outset, pushing the undermanned Scots – who had four debutants - back with their offensive game-plan.

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The hosts scored a goal in each half to show they’ll be hard to beat when the tournament kicks off in Russia next month.

They opened eight minutes before the break after winning a penalty for a handball in the box.

Christian Cueva made no mistake, firing low to the keeper’s right for a deserved half-time lead.

It was 2-0 within two minutes of the restart with experienced attacker Jefferson Farfan producing a clinical finish from a cross from the left.

Peru dominated possession, finishing with 67% of the ball over the 90 minutes, while they fired off 14 shots to Scotland’s three.

The South American’s – who are the Caltex Socceroos’ game three opponents in Russia – have further friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Sweden before heading to the World Cup.

Peru fans soak up the atmosphere in Lima.
Peru fans soak up the atmosphere in Lima.


The Danish team had a very special visitor to their pre-FIFA World Cup training camp.

The nation’s Crown Prince, who celebrated his 50th birthday recently, dropped in to wish the team luck for their campaign in Russia, which includes a clash with the Caltex Socceroos on June 21.

Age Hareide’s side ramp up their preparations for the tournament with a friendly against their Scandinavian neighbours in Stockholm on Sunday.

They’ll then have a final warm-up game against Mexico in Brondby a week later before heading to Russia.


The last of the French players arrived in camp with the team overnight, with defender Raphael Varane joining the squad in Clairefontaine after helping Real Madrid win the UEFA Champions League on Sunday (AEST).

He joins a squad buoyed by their 2-0 friendly win over Ireland, which saw striker Olivier Giroud join some elite company.

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His opening goal, the 31st of his career, saw him pull level with Zinedine Zidane on goals scored for the national team.

"It's satisfying on a personal level, even though I did not have many opportunities tonight," Giroud told TF1.

"I felt good in my legs, even if we could not quite finalise our efforts during this match.

"I will remember especially the very good mindset and the very good start we made. We could have been more dangerous, scored more goals.”

France have two more World Cup warm-up matches before heading to their base in Russia; they meet Italy in Nice on Friday and the USA in Lyon on Saturday June 9.