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The holidays are fast approach, which means a decline in Peruvians abroad in action.
Even with only five Peruvians featuring for their clubs over the weekend, there was still one Christmas miracle: Renato Tapia actually played a competitive match for Feyenoord. Sure, it was only the second half of Feyenoord’s 2-0 win over Fortuna Sittard on Sunday, but it was also his first appearance since Sept. 27.
Elsewhere, Luis Advíncula delivered a strong showing against Real Madrid and Cristian Benavente’s scoring streak came to an end.
Here’s your weekly in-depth Peruvians abroad roundup.
With Jordy Clasie exiting the match at halftime, Renato Tapia replaced the captain to begin the second half.
Bizarrely, Tapia was practically a box-to-box midfielder. He often bursted forward and occupied the areas around the penalty, which is very unlike him. Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst must have instructed Tapia to do this because he almost never roams from the heart of the midfield with Peru.
Even though he has seldom played in 2018, Tapia was composed on the ball and was alert to any loose ball that came his way.
Tapia was quite hesitant at times, although this is likely a symptom of a lack of regular minutes. There are two more games until the Eredivisie pauses for the holidays, so we’ll see if the Peruvian manages to earn more time.
Remember when Luis Advíncula broke through as a winger? Well, we took a journey down Memory Lane to 2011 because Advíncula started on the right side of midfield versus Real Madrid.
It’s understandable because Madrid’s most effective attack-minded starters – Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio – are all left-sided players. Therefore, doubling up that side with Advíncula slightly higher up allows him to exploit the space in behind.
Advíncula was more advanced than usual, although he still maintained his defensive responsibilities for obvious reasons. He won four defensive duels (out of seven) and mainly stuck to the middle third of the pitch.
However, that open space was available to Advíncula and that led to a couple of quality chances for Rayo Vallecano.
Overall, it was a decent outing for Advíncula. But he’s clearly more effective as a right-back when he has more space to exploit.
The scoring streak is over for Cristian Benavente. The Peruvian international had been involved in four goals over his past three appearances, only to run into a brick wall in Genk’s defence. Sporting Charleroi still emerged victorious 2-0, though.
Benavente started up front for Charleroi but drifted to the left on occasion. He wasn’t too effective in attack because he was usually covering ground when Genk had possession. The 24-year-old was actually occupying more space in the defensive third.
The good news is Benavente was brilliant in a more defensive role. He recovered possession four times and won a few dangerous free kicks in the attacking third as well.
It wasn’t a highlight-reel performance, but it’s nice to see that Benavente has some variety in his arsenal.
It’s only December, yet Sergio Peña is on pace to shatter his career-high for starts and appearances in a single season.
Peña’s busiest season came in 2016 with San Martín when he logged 27 appearances, 22 of them starts, before making the move to Spain. Saturday was the 23-year-old’s 13th game (10th start) with Tondela, which has him on pace for around 32 appearances for the year.
Last week’s match displayed Peña’s attacking prowess, while the latest game showed off his defensive exploits. Peña registered seven interceptions, 13 ball recoveries and four tackles. He also won five of his seven duels.
Christian Ramos and Al-Nassr cruised to a 4-0 victory versus Al-Raed on Friday evening to pull within three points of Saudi league leaders Al-Hilal.
The good news for Ramos is him earning three straight starts for the club to begin December. After struggling with niggling injuries to begin the season, he appears to have locked down a spot in the starting XI, which should help the 29-year-old retain his spot with Peru.