For the second time in as many months, world class soccer action returns to Hard Rock Stadium. The Magic City will be in the spotlight again tonight as yet another “Clasico” takes place with the Clasico del Pacifico. Chile will take on Peru in what could be an epic revenge match after the CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
Throughout the 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign, Peru and Chile were constantly jockeying for South America’s playoff spot in hopes of reaching Russia. When the dust was settled, it was Peru that just narrowly edged Chile in goal differential to earn the 5th spot in the table. To make matters worse, Chile’s last loss in qualifying (0-3 to Brazil) crushed their dreams and allowed Peru to qualifying for the tournament for the first time since 1982.
This fixture has caused nightmares for Peru as Chile’s high flying attacking, featuring the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, has been a thorn in the side for years. The last time Peru earned a result against Chile was in 2013 during the 2014 World Cup Qualifying. These matches have been undoubtedly testy, with four of the last six matches having a member of the Peruvian squad sent off the pitch early.
Peru exited the 2018 World Cup on a high note by beating Australia after dropping their first two fixtures against France and Denmark. The September friendlies didn’t pan out well for the selection as they dropped matches to Germany and Netherlands by a goal each. Peru will turn to Orlando City’s Yoshimar Yotun and Seattle Sounders’ striker Raul Ruidiaz to lead the way and be the spark to the offense.
Chile hasn’t fared much better since missing the World Cup tournament. The last time the Chilean national team tasted victory was against Serbia in a friendly going back to June 4th. The raw talent favors Chile coming into this match as the European pedigree is seen all around the roster. The aforementioned Sanchez and Vidal will join defenders Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla in hopes of keeping the dominant streak over Peru. Should Alexis score in this contest it would be his 40th goal for his country, Vidal would notch number 25.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Patricio Álvarez (Sporting Cristal), José Carvallo (Universidad Técnica de Cajamarca), Pedro Gallese(Veracruz/MEX)
DEFENDERS (8): Luis Abram (Vélez Sarsfield/ARG), Luis Advíncula (Rayo Vallecano/ESP), Miguel Araujo (Talleres/ARG), Nilson Loyola (Melgar), Johan Madrid (Sporting Cristal), Christian Ramos (Al-Nassr/KSA), Anderson Santamaría (Puebla/MEX), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo/BRA)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Pedro Aquino (Club León/MEX), Cristian Benevente (Royal Charleroi/BEL), Horacio Calcaterra (Sporting Cristal), André Carillo (Al-Hilal/KSA), Christian Cueva (Krasnodar/RUS), Edison Flores (Morelia/MEX), Paolo Hurtado(Konyaspor/TUR), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers/USA), Renato Tapia (Feyenoord/NED), Yoshimar Yotún (Orlando City SC/USA)
FORWARDS (3): Jefferson Farfán (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Yordy Reyna (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/CAN), Raúl Ruidíaz(Seattle Sounders FC/USA)
Goalkeepers (3): Gabriel Arias (Racing), Fernando de Paul (Universidad de Chile), Lawrence Vigouroux (Swindon Town)
Defenders (8): Gary Medel (Besiktas), Mauricio Isla (Fenerbahce), Eugenio Mena (Racing), Enzo Roco (Besiktas), Paulo Diaz (Al-Ahli), Guillermo Maripan (Alaves), Igor Lichnovsky (Cruz Azul), Alfonso Parot (Rosario Central)
Midfielders (7): Arturo Vidal (FC Barcelona), Felipe Gutierrez (Sporting Kansas City), Pablo Hernandez (Independiente), Erick Pulgar (Bologna), Lorenzo Reyes (Atlas), Diego Valdes (Morelia), Victor Davila (Necaxa)
Forwards (6): Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United), Nicolas Castillo (Benfica), Junior Fernandes (Alanyaspor), Angelo Sagal (Pachuca), Angelo Henriquez (Universidad de Chile), Ignacio Jeraldino (Audax Italiano)
Tickets are still available for the match scheduled to kickoff at 8PM from Hard Rock Stadium.