x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Colombia a tall order for Peru

Peru are dreaming of a Copa America championship for the first time in 36 years.

CORDOBA, Argentina // Peru, dreaming of a Copa America championship for the first time in 36 years, will try to halt a resurgent Colombia tonight in the quarter-finals.

"Now we have Colombia. A tall order, but we have to have faith we can get past them. Go Peru," said Paolo Guerrero, the striker who plays his club football with Hamburg, on Twitter.

Recent meetings between the two have been tight affairs - they parted 1-1 in a Bogota friendly last November and World Cup qualifiers before South Africa 2010 ended 1-0 to the Colombians on their home patch and 1-1 in Lima.

If the Peruvians are to beat the 2001 winners, they will have to keep in check the in-form striker Radamel Falcao, who revealed on Thursday he had signed a two-year extension with Porto, ending speculation, for now, about a move to Chelsea

The forward, who broke the European scoring record for a single campaign when he netted 17 times en route to a Europa League championship, also had his buyout clause raised to €45 million (Dh233.9m) from €30m.

"It doesn't matter who scores as long as we go through," Falcao said.

With the Colombians yet to concede a goal and with Falcao a powerful threat, after two goals against Bolivia, Hernan Dario Gomez's side would appear to be slight favourites.

"The most important thing is that the team functions effectively," said Hugo Rodallega. "We came here with a goal and we have achieved it [in getting past the group stage]."

"We are hugely up for this one," Peru defender Antonio Rodriguez told journalists after his coach, Sergio Markarian, put them through their paces.

Markarian said he thinks his men can make it "through to the semis," he told Cable Magico Deportes broadcaster.

"But I'd like to come back on July 25," he joked, that being the day after the final.