Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

No Colombia pact, insists Peru's Renato Tapia

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson delighted with Peru as final World Cup qualification opponents All Whites face Peru for World Cup place
Melinda Barton | 12 October, 2017, 11:38

Radamel Falcao has sparked World Cup controversy after admitting to discussing playing for a draw during Colombia's qualifying clash with Peru. We are at home in the first game and the players really believe.

Peru had been occupying the play-off position going into Wednesday's match in Lima but fell out of the CONMEBOL top five when Colombia took the lead.

Peru will be ready to overcome "whatever comes their way" in their two-legged World Cup qualifying playoff against New Zealand next month, according to veteran striker Paolo Guerrero.

Elsewhere, Chile fell out of World Cup contention - despite their status as back-to-back South American champions - with a ruinous 3-0 loss to Brazil.

Falcao has been criticised on social media for his actions, with some even accusing him of match fixing.

"Whoever we get it's a tough game, very tough, but out of all the teams we were looking at, certainly from my point of view, Peru was a team we would have liked to have played", said Hudson. "I spoke with Radamel, who told me we were both qualified (as things stood), but it's football and we play to win".

One of Peru's coaching staff, Nolberto Solano, the former Newcastle United winger, dismissed any notion of a pact between the teams.

But a goal with around 10 minutes remaining earned the home team a 1-1 draw and left them in fifth-place, where they had been after the penultimate round of matches. What pact? That's speculation.

While this extraordinary footage at this time has not provided clear-cut evidence of any wrongdoing, it may be something Federation Internationale de Football Association will look further into in the coming days.

They will face New Zealand in a two-legged tie, the victor of which will earn a spot at the World Cup.

24 hours after the incident occurred, both a Peru player and Falcao have come out and spoken about the incident. We know we can compete with anyone.

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