Peru’s glory generation was behind them, and the country found itself in the midst of a recession, something which was even mirrored in the national team’s poor results of late. They had had a disappointing Copa América, where they’d exited after the group stage without a win to their name. Fair to say, though, that the recently appointed head coach, Brazilian Pepe, or José Macia as was his original name, who had arrived in Peru at the age of 64, had not had a lot of preparation time. He was allegedly on decent money, something which would’ve brought added pressure.  Could Peru make a race of it in their qualifying group? Read more . . .


Qualifier 1: Bolivia 2-1 Peru
20.08.1989, Estadio Hernando Siles (La Paz)
Goal: del Solar
Line-up (4-4-2): Purizaga – Carranza, Olaychea (c), Requena, Olivares – Reynoso (Torrealba 67), Valencia, del Solar, Suárez – Navarro (Rey Muñoz 70), Hirano
Arriving high in the Andes mountains, the Peruvians would struggle to stamp any kind of authority on the game, even if they had goalkeeper Purizaga to thank for saving some first half efforts, including a penalty from Pérez. Young midfielder del Solar would strike home from inside the area following their favourite set-piece move, where Suárez had found Requena across the area, for the central defender to head it back towards the centre. Still, they couldn’t deal with some of Bolivia’s fine individuals, and having conceded from a second penalty right on half-time, they could not deal with Ramallo’s fine effort early in the second half. Peru mustered no late push for an equalizer. 

Qualifier 2: Peru 0-2 Uruguay
27.08.1989, Estadio Nacional (Lima)
Line-up (5-3-2): Purizaga – Arteaga, Carranza, del Solar, Requena, Olivares – Reynoso, Uribe (c), Hirano (Manassero 72) – Navarro, Dall’Orso
‘Pepe’ had changed the Peruvian formation around, utilising 5-3-2 for this the visit of group favourites Uruguay. They were probably hoping to stifle the quick Uruguayan wide forwards, though both Alzamendi and Sosa got on the scoresheet after a goalless first half, so whether or not it was a success was up for debate. Del Solar had been pushed back into the libero position, and performed well, with Uribe’s timely return in the centre of the pitch a fine boost. He had young Reynoso alongside him, and the teenager did well after having been a misfit wide right last time around. Peru lacked bite up front, and never really threatened to score. 

Qualifier 3: Peru 1-2 Bolivia
10.09.1989, Estadio Nacional (Lima)
Goal: Gonzáles
Line-up (4-3-3): Purizaga – Arteaga, Requena, del Solar, Olivares – Reynoso, Reyna (c) (Yáñez h-t), Manassero (Torres h-t) – Rey Muñoz, Gonzáles, Hirano
Pepe had opted for a 4-3-3 on this occasion, and they dished out their best performance of the qualification so far, asking several questions of the deep-lying visitors. Gonzáles’ presence through the centre up top made them more powerful, but despite some neat approach play, they failed to build on their early second half equalizer. Still, falling behind late on seemed cruel on them, and when Requena then completed their misery by failing to convert an 81st minute penalty, they lose belief and suffer their third consecutive defeat. Despite their fine efforts, head coach Macia needs to be escorted off by riot police shielding him from objects thrown by the crowd.

NEWSFLASH: Team coach Pepe was dismissed in the wake of the home defeat against Bolivia. The Peruvian FA had acted on the back of successive losses in their first three qualifiers, which had come after the team had failed to win any of their four Copa América fixtures. The Brazilian’s assistant, Percy Rojas, was put in temporary charge ahead of their final qualifier.

Qualifier 4: Uruguay 2-0 Peru
24.09.1989, Estadio Centenario (Montevideo)
Line-up (4-5-1): Purizaga – Sanjínez, Arteaga, Requena (c), Guido – Yáñez, Reynoso, Carranza, del Solar, Hirano – Gonzáles



Final position: 3 (out of 3)
Total record: 4 0 0 4 2-8 0
Home record: 2 0 0 2 1-4 0
Away record: 2 0 0 2 1-4 0

Player statistics

Number of players used: 24
Number of players including unused substitutes: 25
Ever-presents (360 minutes): 3 (Purizaga, Requena, del Solar)
Leading goalscorer: del Solar and Gonzáles (one each)
Yellow/red cards:

– overview

– game by game

PlayerBol (a)Uru (h)Bol (h)Uru (a)AppsMins
del Solar90909090
Rey Muñoz2090
Gonzáles, G.RRRR
Gonzáles, A.9090

– ratings


Peru did not play another match until a home friendly against Ecuador in June 1991. By that time, they had installed former Sport Boys (domestic champions both in 1990 and 1991) manager Miguel Company as the permanent new national team chief. He would oversee their ’91 Copa América participation in Chile. Nine from their travelling party of 22 for that tournament had featured during their Italia ’90 qualification squads.

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