Peru's players celebrate clinching a World Cup play-off place - they will take on New Zealand in November

Peru 1-1 Colombia: Paolo Guerrero equaliser books play-off

Peru kept alive their hopes of a first World Cup finals appearance since 1982 as they drew at home to Colombia, who booked their place in Russia next summer.

The Peruvians went into the game in fifth place, knowing a win would seal them an automatic spot at the World Cup and a draw a likely play-off spot.

Paolo Guerrero got the all-important equaliser after James Rodriguez, one of the stars of the last World Cup, looked to have ended Peru’s dream.

Peru's players celebrate clinching a World Cup play-off place - they will take on New Zealand in November

Peru’s players celebrate clinching a World Cup play-off place – they will take on New Zealand in November

Colombia finish fourth in the South American qualifying standings and will be at Russia next summer

Colombia finish fourth in the South American qualifying standings and will be at Russia next summer

Peru striker Paolo Guerrero celebrates his late equaliser on against Colombia

Peru striker Paolo Guerrero celebrates his late equaliser on against Colombia

James Rodriguez celebrates after giving Colombia the lead in the second half in Lima

James Rodriguez celebrates after giving Colombia the lead in the second half in Lima

Both sides went into the match knowing what could be achieved. For Colombia it was something they had experienced all before, but for Peru’s players it was a completely new experience.

Once Rodriguez’s goal arrived after 56 minutes, Peru’s dreams of playing Russia next summer appeared to be over.

But they haven’t got to where they are without showing fight and determination. It was that same fight and determination that earned them a 0-0 draw against Argentina last week.

Radamel Falcao controls the ball and looks to get away from Miguel Trauco during the first half

Radamel Falcao controls the ball and looks to get away from Miguel Trauco during the first half

Arsenal and Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina punches the air and Colombia sealed their place at the World Cup

Arsenal and Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina punches the air and Colombia sealed their place at the World Cup

They would demonstrate those qualities again just 20 minutes after Rodriguez’s strike.

Peru were awarded a free-kick outside of the Colombia penalty area and to the right side.

Guerrero, who plays for Flamengo, stood over the ball. Peru’s best technical player had a chance. He struck the ball cleanly with his right boot and Colombia and Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina couldn’t keep the effort out as it crept through his gloves and into the goal.

Posted on; DailyMail>>

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