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Press article:

Solano to miss Colombia qualifier - 22/03/2004

Solano to miss Colombia qualifier
   Aston Villa
   Federación Peruana de Fútbol

Peru captain Nolberto Solano will miss this month's World Cup qualifier at home to Colombia after pulling a hamstring during a match for English premier league Aston Villa, a team official said on Sunday.

'I spoke to him and he confirmed that he had suffered the injury to his left leg,' national team director Gustavo Zevallos told Reuters. 'His recovery is likely to take around one month.' Zevallos added: 'This is something nobody expected, we're worried.'

Peru, who are attempting to qualify for their first World Cup since 1982, face Colombia in Lima on March 31.

Solano has scored in two of their four qualifiers so far, including the equaliser in last November's 1-1 draw at home to world champions Brazil.

He limped out of Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Blackburn Rovers in the first half.

Like all the other South American teams, Peru are already facing difficulties because they are only allowed their players for 48 hours before next week's games.

The problem has arisen because the matches are being played on a date which has been allocated by FIFA for friendlies, not competitive internationals.

Peru are sixth in the South American group with five points from four games.

Colombia are propping up the 10-team table with only one point and have already played three home matches.


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