Peru coach Ricardo Gareca dedicated his side’s Copa America quarter-final win over Uruguay to injured star Jefferson Farfan and praised his side’s keeper for saving the decisive penalty in the shoot-out win over Uruguay.
Farfan, who scored in Peru’s group stage win over Bolivia, was ruled out for the rest of the tournament after sustaining a left knee injury in their 5-0 defeat to Brazil.
He watched from the stands as Peru clinched a semi-final berth against two-time defending champions Chile as Luis Suarez missed the only spot-kick that followed a deadlocked 90 minutes in Salvador.
‘El Tigre’, Peru’s boss since 2015, said: “I congratulate the boys because the team showed personality, we showed effectiveness. I dedicate this game to Jefferson Farfán who has been a very sensitive casualty. This selection is very strong emotionally.”
Suarez had a goal disallowed for offside in normal time before seeing Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese guess the right way for the first penalty of the shootout. Edinson Cavani also had a goal ruled out as 15-time winners Uruguay failed to convert from their 12 shots at goal.
Gareca reserved special praise for Gallese, who had been criticised for a mistake in the drubbing against Brazil. “Gallese is a goalkeeper who has given me so many solid games, in important moments he is always there,” said the Peru boss.
La Blanquirroja, who failed to produce a single shot on target, now play Chile in the second semi-final on 4 July, after hosts Brazil face Argentina the night before. Peru are 4.33 to win the match in 90 minutes with Chile 2.00 while a correct score of 0-0 – the score in both quarter-finals for the teams – is available at 5.25.
Speaking about Chile, Gareca added: “It’s a great squad with a very important dynamic game and with elite players. We will prepare the match so as not to make mistakes.”