TRUJILLO, Peru, July 12 (Reuters) - Two goals in the space of three minutes gave Peru a 2-2 draw with defending Copa America champions Colombia on Monday, the second time in three matches that the hosts have come back from a two-goal deficit.
Both teams had already qualified for the second round after
Bolivia drew 1-1 with Venezuela earlier on Monday night, making
certain Peru's second position in the group A table.
The result kept Colombia top of the group with seven points
from three games, while Peru finish with five.
Colombia took the lead in the 33rd minute to the howls and
whistles of the home crowd when striker Edwin Congo headed in a
long cross from the right that found him with just keeper Oscar
Ibanez to beat.
Abel Aguilar doubled Colombia's lead eight minutes into the
second half after Congo set him up with a pass from the right
corner flag and the 19-year-old midfielder fired in from seven
But Reinaldo Rueda's young side showed their lack of
experience and wasted their comfortable lead, allowing Peru to
grab back two quick goals.
Captain and playmaker Nolberto Solano delighted the
fanatical home fans with a superb, swerving free kick from the
edge of the penalty area in the 57th minute and striker Flavio
Maestri nodded in a cross three minutes later to equalise.
Peru, who came back from a two-goal deficit in their group A
opener with Bolivia, again showed poor finishing and missed
several chances to take the lead in the first half.
Striker Andres Mendoza should have scored in the 22nd minute
when he connected with a dipping Solano cross, hitting his shot
up at the crossbar. Mendoza also chipped the ball over the bar
from close range in the 59th minute.
Colombian keeper Juan Carlos Henao saved Colombia from a
third Peruvian goal in the 65th minute when he tipped over a
fiery long range shot by Solano.
But Colombia looked the more composed team throughout and
were able to subdue bursts of Peruvian attacks in defence, using
the speed of Elkin Murillo and Congo on the break to threaten
Ibanez with a series of shots in the second half.