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28-02-2015 21:21:40

Argentina scratch out 1-1 draw with Peru

LIMA,12September: Gonzalo Higuain scored in the 37th minute to help Argentina scratch out a 1-1 draw with Peru on Tuesday and stay on top of the standings in South American World Cup qualifying.Carlos

Zamorano scored in the 22nd minute for Peru, which could have had at least one more goal, but Argentina keeper Sergio Romero stopped Claudio Pizarro's penalty in the 3rd minute. Peru also hit a post and was always more threatening against Argentina's frail defence.The draw gave Argentina 14 points after seven of 14 matches, followed by Ecuador and Colombia with 13, Chile and Uruguay with 12 and Peru on 7."We knew it was going to be like this," Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said. "This is a tough place to play and the pitch wasn't that good. Everyone wants to beat Argentina."Zamorano gave Peru the lead, chipping in from 8 meters after a cross from Luis Advincula.Higuain equalized for Argentina in the 37th, set up by a perfect pass from the right wing by Ezequiel Lavezzi.Peru matched Argentina in the first half, with the attacking of Jefferson Farfan and Advincula troubling Argentina's nervous defence. Lionel Messi was held in check and Peru was more aggressive, getting away with several rough tackles.The Gauchos knew they were in for a high-intensity match ever since Monday when the bus carrying Argentina players from practice was pelted with thrown objects, breaking several windows.Peru had the better chances early in the second half with Paulo Cruzado hitting the post in the 54th. Three minutes later Argentina midfielder Fernando Gago was taken off the field on a stretcher with a head injury.Peru's Pizarro and Argentina's Higuain and Marcos Rojo had chances to score late in the match, although a late goal by Argentina would have been an injustice.Messi had nine goals in his previous five games for Argentina, but the Barcelona forward was not a factor in this one.

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