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Peru vs USA the is a relatively fresh fixture in international footballing history. The Peruvians have gone head to head with the USMNT only seven times in their short on the field history with the first match taking place in June 1989.


In the match up it’s currently it’s the USA who hold the bragging rights in the fixture having 3 wins to Peru’s 2, with the remaining two matches both resulting in a draw. The USA also hold the advantage in terms of goals scored across the fixtures, bagging 8 goals in 7 games against Peru, who are only slightly behind on 7 goals in the 7 games against the USA.


In 3 of the 7 competitive games again it’s the US who hold another advantage with two wins in the Marlboro Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, compared to Peru’s one win in the 1997 US Cup on the USA’s home soil. In the remaining four international friendlies between the two nations the record is even with each country having a win a piece, with the only two draws between the nations coming in the reminding two friendlies in 1993 and the most recent fixture in October 2018.


While the USA currently hold the edge in the fixtures in all senses it must be said that 6 of the 7 games between USA and PERU have been on US soil giving them a favorable home advantage in 85.7% of the total minutes played. With Peru only behind by 1 win, 1 goal and 1 win in a competitive competition they must be given tremendous credit for their endeavours. After all they did win their only home game with a resounding 4-1 victory in 1996, which further signifies the importance of the home advantage in the sport of football.


Peru versus USA, the first ever fixture



The first meeting between the two sides came on the 4th June 1989, in the Marlboro cup which was a competition was sponsored by the Phillip Morris company to promote its Marlboro brand of cigarettes.


The Marlboro cup was an unusual soccer tournament in the sense that it hosted both international sides such as the US, Colombia, Peru and Mexico as well as international club sides from all around the globe such as Colo-Colo, Juventus and Benfica. The tournament which ran on an irregular basis between 1987 to 1990 was hosted in the US, where 12 competitions took place over the 3 year period. 


In this time the USA featured in nine of the twelve cup competitions, winning two of the five finals they reached, both in the summer 1989. Incidentally one of these cup wins came against Peru’s national team (also known as the Incas), in Peru’s only appearance in the competition in which they reached the final. The game was hosted in New York’s East Rutherford arena, where over 33,000 fans came to witness the spectacle. The USA took the lead in the when Midfielder Brian Bliss fired them ahead in the 15th minute, a lead which was double only minutes later by fellow Midfielder Tab Ramos. The outcome of the game was placed beyond reasonable doubt just before half time when the USA’s forward Bruce Murray slotted in on the 44th minute. The match ultimately resulted in a resounding 3-0 home win for the US men’s team over their Peruvian counterparts which saw them lift the Marlboro cup. This still remains the biggest and most convincing win for the USA in their footballing history against the Peruvian national team to this date.


USA vs Peru in the Marlboro Cup


The red and whites or the rojobalnos as Peru are known as in their Spanish native tongue next took on the USA in an international friendly game in 1993, 4 years after their defeat to the USA in the Marlboro cup.


Vladimir Popovic’s Incas took on the USMNT (USA)  at the Mission Viejo in California where over the course of 90 minutes both teams cancelled each other out in a game which ended up in a mundane 0-0 draw. A much better effort this time around from the Peruvians who managed to shut out the US on home ground. The game provided a stern test for Peru in preparation for the 1993 Copa America later that summer, a tournament in which Peru topped the group with 4 points following a 1-0 win over South american compatriots Chile and drawing their remaining games 1-1 with Paraguay, and 0-0 with a world class Brazil team which included super star fullbacks Cafu and Roberto Carlos. Their success was unfortunately short lived as they got beaten by Mexico 4-2 in the following knock-out round.


Peru face the USA at home for the first time


In 1996 Peru took on the USA at home for the first and only time in the tie’s history. The Incas this time led by manager Juan Carlos Olbitas Saba, a former Peruvian international winger who played for the rojiblancos in the 70’s and 80’s coached Peru to their most convincing win over the USA in this fixture. The friendly played at the Nacional Lima stadium in front of a 10,000 attendees started off by Peru’s  all time highest capped player Roberto Palacios putting the home team in front in the 33rd minute, however the US struck back 10 minutes later to level just before half-time through Dario Brose. The second half resulted in a Peruvian landslide victory with 3 goals from Percy Olivares, Paolo Maldonado and former Newcastle United star winger Norberto Solano all coming in a 15 minute window to seal a 4-1 landslide victory at home for the rojoblancos.


Peru Claim victory again in 1997


The Peruvians again under Juan Carlos Olbitas Saba followed the win up with another victory in the following game against the US one year later in 1997 with a 1-0 win, this time away from home in a competitive US Cup game.


The 1997 US Cup included the host nation of the USA, South American teams Peru and Mexico, finally including European nation Denmark. The cup staged a six game round robin tournament, where the team with the best win loss ratio took the title of the cup. The title in the end was won by mexico who beat both the US and Denmark comprehensively, however they were held by the Incas to a 0-0 draw at the Rose Bowl.


Peru’s form over the tournament was reasonably solid starting off the tournament with a 1-0 win over the USA with an early 8th minute goal from striker German Carty, scoring his first of three international career goals off a Paolo Maldonado cross. It was a game of two halves with Peru dominating the first half in terms of possession, however the US dominated long stretches of the second half, creating several good chances but unable to put any of them away. Peru went on to lose 2-1 to Denmark, and as mentioned previously drew with Mexico.



USA versus Peru in the CONCACAF Gold cup


The fifth meeting between the Rojoblancos and the USMNT came in the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup, hosted in the United States across the cities of Los Angeles, Miami and San Diego


The tournament was the fifth edition of the gold cup, a football tournament comprised of international teams from North America, South America and the Caribbean. Peru along with Colombia were invited from the CONMEBOL Region after the tournaments format changed following 1998 cup. It was expanded to 12 teams, split into 4 groups of three. Peru progressed from the group finishing 2nd after drawing to Haiti, but this time losing 1-0 to Bruce Arena’s US team, with LA Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones grabbing the decisive goal in a closely contested game. Peru progressed further in the tournament beating southern American counterparts Honduras in a 5-3 thriller, before being knocked out by Colombia in a 2-1 semi-final loss, with Canada going on to win the tournament with a 2-0 victory in the final over Colombia.


Peru play USA in 2015 and 2018 Friendlies


Following their meeting with the US in the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Peru had to wait 15 years before facing off with the USMNT in a 2015 friendly, again played on US Soil.



Unfortunately for the rojiblancos their long awaited chance of redemption didn’t go to plan, Ricardo Gareca’s Peru team were unable to break down a solid US Defence including Bundesliga defender John Brooks, and were inevitably punished in the second half, with big target man Jozy Altidore scoring a brace to fire Jurgen Klinsmann US team to a 2-0 victory over Peru at the RFK Stadium in Washington D.C, putting the US ahead in their head to head record with the Peruvians.


The final and most recent meeting between the two nations came in the autumn of 2018, where the US again hosted Peru for the sixth time out the the seven fixtures, this time at the Pratt and Whitney Stadium in East Hartford. This time 25,000 people witnessed an even scores draw, where Garecas team scored a second half equalizer through midfielder Edison Flores who cancelled out hot prospect Josh Sergeants 49th Minute goal for the US.


The draw left the head to head tie between the USA and Peru still in the USA’s favor overall, with Peru hoping got get one over the US in the next match up. Peru will hope that they get a favorable home advantage in their next face, hoping to emulate their 4-1 thrashing of the US in 1996.


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