Nov 16, 2011

Ecuador - Peru

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers

Ecuador is set as a pretty big favorite for this match, and if anyone is wondering why... well, I have no idea. They aren't impressive, they haven't improved recently, and don't let their recent good form fool you. Beating Costa Rica and Jamaica is some friendlies doesn't mean too much, especially if they play in Ecuador, while their 2-0 win over Venezuela in the qualifiers also has little meaning, since La Vinotinto used mainly a second squad for that match. The high altitude from Quito could be their only advantage, but I suppose Peru knows how to counter that threat. Besides the obvious improvement for the Peruvians (including here a fantastic Copa America campaign, where they took 3rd place), they also had close to a week to prepare this match, since they had a bye during the weekend. And most of that time was spent in Arequipa (2300 meters of altitude), in order to get the players used with the altitude, and the training reports are encouraging. 'The Fantastic Four' are expected to start this match (Guerrero, Pizarro, Farfan and Vargas), and I'm sure they'll put up a decent fight. This +1 handicap is crazy in my opinion, and gives us breathing space even in case of an unlikely home win. GL!

Peru (+1 AH) @ 1.80, 4/10
Result: 2-0, LOST