QUITO (EFE) – A counterattack unleashed by the Italian-Peruvian Gianluca Lapadula and a surgical pass to Christian Cueva to push the ball to the back of the net paved the way for Peru to a 1-2 victory over Ecuador in the 2,850 meters above the sea level of Quito.
Lapadula, of a Peruvian mother and Italian father, sealed his outstanding day in the 87th minute with another leaked ball for Luis Advíncula to put the lace, with a subtle touch that passed between the legs of Alexander Domínguez.
Ecuador still had time to close the gap with a goal from Gonzalo Plata in the 91st minute.
It was the first victory for Ricardo Gareca’s pupils in six games played for the South American qualifiers of the 2022 World Cup, a breath of air for a team threatened by the crisis because after being thrashed in Lima by Colombia last Thursday, they had been left at bottom with a single point.
The defeat at the Rodrigo Paz Delgado stadium put a heavy burden on Ecuador, which saw a three-win streak interrupted on Friday when they lost 2-0 to Brazil in Porto Alegre.
Without adding in two starts, the Tri was provisionally frozen in third place with 9 points and the Blanquirroja went to the penultimate place, with 4.
The Lapadula-Cueva formula turned out to be the letter that changed the course of Peru.
Lapadula had the opportunity to score in the first half but defined poorly in a heads up. And Cueva was from the extremes a constant anxiety factor for his custodians and a relief for his companions.
After 53 minutes, the Uruguayan referee Esteban Ostojich annulled after consulting the VAR his decision to award a penalty to Ecuador for an alleged intentional hand of the central Luis Abram.
Ostojich took about 5 minutes to reconsider his first assessment when the match featured an Ecuadorian team turned on the attack and a Peruvian entrenched around Pedro Gallese’s goal.
With this constant, Gustavo Alfaro’s pupils left cracks in defense and Gareca’s took advantage of the counter.