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Press article:

Solano helps Peru salvage a 2-2 draw - 14/07/2004

Solano helps Peru salvage a 2-2 draw
   Federación Peruana de Fútbol

TRUJILLO (Peru) - Nolberto Solano scored with a superb free kick and set up another goal three minutes later, as Peru fought back to draw 2-2 with Colombia in the Copa America on Monday.

Peru had qualified for the quarter-finals minutes before the kick-off, Bolivia's 1-1 draw with Venezuela ensuring the hosts would finish in the top two of Group A.

Colombia, who qualified last Friday, were heading for a repeat of their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win in Lima in March after Edwin Congo headed them in front in the 33rd minute and Abel Aguilar swept home the second shortly after half-time.

This time, however, Peru hit back and produced a repeat of their opening match when they came from two goals behind to draw by the same score with Bolivia.

Solano, who plays for English Premiership club Aston Villa, sparked the fightback by curling in a 57th-minute free kick, the first goal defending champions Colombia have conceded in the Copa since 1999 in a run stretching back eight matches.

Three minutes later, he flicked over an exquisite cross with the outside of his foot, Andres Mendoza headed the ball back across goal from the far post and lumbering Brazil-based striker Flavio Maestri equalised.

Bolivia, meanwhile, have only a slim chance of progressing as one of the two best third-placed teams in the three groups after their draw with Venezuela left them with two points and sent their opponents home.

Ruberth Moran put Venezuela ahead from a rebound in the 27th minute but Gonzalo Galindo levelled six minutes later.

The draw also ensured that Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina will qualify from Group B and that Paraguay will go through from Group C along with Brazil, who had already qualified.

The winner of today's Costa Rica-Chile match will also progress from Group C as one of the third-placed teams. But if they draw 1-1 or 0-0, Bolivia will qualify on goals scored.

Straits Times Interactive

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