Peru is in the 2019 Copa America final as the biggest surprise finalist since Paraguay in 2011. The Peruvians have battled through the group stage, failing to concede while knocking out Uruguay in the quarterfinals and Chile in the semifinals to set up this wild final of David vs. Goliath. Peru has been tested, and in what’s the second golden age of the national team, they’ll look take home the title on Sunday in the biggest upset in Copa America final history.
Below you’ll find three reasons why Peru can win the final, which you can watch on fuboTV (Try for free). We’ve also covered why Brazil can win, .
1. It’s a team of destiny with momentum
After ending an over 30-year drought to make the World Cup last year, Peru is in the Copa America final for the first time since the 1970s. It’s no fluke, as this generation of talent with aging players like Paolo Guerrero and Jefferson Farfan have been building towards this moment for a decade. Slowly but surely they’ve improved year by year and now find themselves on the brink of unimaginable glory.
Some teams are just destined to win — like Leicester City’s Premier League run — and Peru is the next great underdog story. They have tons of momentum and no pressure, and they know it. It will show for most of the 90 minutes.
2. They will have learned from the first game
Losing to Brazil 5-0 in the last group stage game was humbling and tough to accept, but it was a learning experience. Peru was down 3-0 at the break and received nine shots on goal, losing the battle of possession. They know what they need to do in this game to get a result, and it’s similar to what we saw against Uruguay in the quarterfinals: defend, defend, defend. While Uruguay had its chances and Brazil will have theirs, all-out defending and trying to force extra time may be the most feasible way of winning.
If Brazil scores one, Peru will still have a chance but is likely going to need to be more effective on set pieces, especially corner kicks. Brazil has yet to concede a goal, so if Peru allows two goals, this one is over.
3. Because Ricardo Gareca knows what he’s doing
Peru’s coach Ricardo Gareca is a master. He took Peru, little Peru, to the World Cup and a Copa America final. The 61-year-old Argentine worked wonders at Velez Sarsfield on the club level and now he’s doing it on the international stage.
A skillful tactician that knows how to play chess with the best of them on the field, Gareca’s proven to be able to make the right in-game adjustments to get results. Expect him to be more defensive here, possibly sit his defensive midfielder way back to help against Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, and he’ll make a key substitution that turns the wide of this game in their favor.