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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Guerrero the key for improving Peru

Paolo Guerrero scores for Peru in their opener against Haiti
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Manager Ricardo Gareca

In Peru they partied like it was 1982 after ending their long wait for a return to the World Cup and the one-time South American minnows confirmed their steady progress of recent years by earning their spot at football's top table.

Semi-finalists at the 2015 Copa America and quarter-finalists in the same tournament one year later, Peru, who comfortably overcame New Zealand in the playoffs, are up to the giddy heights of tenth in the Fifa rankings.

However, missing from that playoff success was their top goalscorer and best player, Paolo Guerrero, who failed a drugs test.

Guerrero is hugely influential but despite at one point it looking like he was going to be allowed to play, his ban has been extended. 

It's a big loss for the World Cup, and Jefferson Farfan will have to take over as Peru's talisman.

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Guerrero looks set to be able to play in the finals after having a one-year ban reduced to six months
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