After a two-week hiatus, the Peruvians abroad roundup is back.
Plenty has transpired over the last couple of weeks. Players we thought had no future at their clubs are suddenly back in the picture. Others have suffered injuries (Yoshimar Yotún, for instance), although that’s been overwritten by some surprising runs of form from a few individuals.
Without further adieu, here is your in-depth roundup on six different Peruvians abroad.
The weekend began with Anderson Santamaría scoring his first-ever goal in Liga MX. The towering header helped Atlas topple Lobos BUAP 3-1, with Santamaría completing the 90 minutes.
A first time for everything!
Anderson Santamaría scores his first Liga MX goal! 🇵🇪pic.twitter.com/3xYNGNbkW2
— The Peruvian Waltz (@PeruWaltz) January 26, 2019
Playing as a right-sided centre-back, Santamaría produced one of his better defensive performances since joining Atlas. The 27-year-old had nine ball recoveries and four interceptions, but most importantly, he was alert to the danger and positioned correctly.
Whether it was on the run or jockeying a defender around the box, Santamaría was seldom beaten on the dribble by an opposing attacker.
This is the sort of play that catapulted Santamaría into Ricardo Gareca’s lineup. Now that he’s settled at Atlas, perhaps we’ll see another increase in form before the 2019 Copa América.
Unlike previous games, Edison Flores was actually a left winger in Monarcas Morelia’s 0-0 draw with Necaxa.
That being said, some of Flores’ best sequences were generated in central areas. He should’ve finished the game with at least a couple of assists. Only woeful finishes prevented that from happening.
There really should’ve been a winner from Monarcas, especially given Flores’ activity in the final third. He was stringing passes together with ease.
So far, Flores has arguably been one of Monarcas’ best players in the Clausura. Hopefully this continues.
Since joining Willem II on loan from Feyenoord, Renato Tapia has started three games – all in the midfield – and has delivered in each appearance.
Sunday’s 1-0 win over Utrecht was Tapia’s third start in six days for the club. However, unlike the first two games, Tapia stood out for his defensive prowess. He logged just 29 passes (completing 22 of them) but was breaking up countless Utrecht attacks in the process.
In total, Tapia completed 11 interceptions, 12 ball recoveries and won six of his nine defensive duels on Sunday afternoon. He was absolutely relentless in chasing down the opposing player in possession.
One reason why Tapia is playing so well is because of Willem’s system. The Peruvian is allowed to roam from his position to try and recover possession. If this occurred at Feyenoord, it left the team exposed defensively. If Tapia is allowed to fulfill this role on a permanent basis, then he’ll be a very effective player.
The downside of this can be seen below. While it’s a positive to see Tapia hustle back, he might not be so lucky against stronger opposition.
For now, it’s just a positive to see Tapia on the pitch – in midfield – on a regular basis.
Miguel Araujo’s first Superliga match of 2019 was pretty disappointing. He was booked after 17 minutes and then hauled off at halftime for “tactical reasons.”
It’s easy to see why. Araujo looked shaky right from kickoff. The yellow card further intensified those nerves. He ended up committing two more hard fouls, which prompted Juan Pablo Vojvoda to replace the Peruvian defender for the second half.
Talleres also deployed a back three, an unfamiliar system for Araujo, which certainly didn’t help. Thankfully for his side, they came away with a 1-1 draw in Avellaneda.
Also among the scorers was Pedro Aquino. We all remember his goals in Peru’s friendlies to close out 2018, and yet again, this was via a powerful header.
To top it off, Aquino bossed the midfield with 55 passes completed, seven duels won (out of 13) and two tackles. In other words, a classic Pedro Aquino performance.
There should be a caveat before mentioning André Carrillo’s performance: Al-Hilal faced Al-Feiha, who are battling relegation. The Saudi league leaders cruised to a 5-1 victory with Carrillo picking up an assist and generally dominating the proceedings.
Look at Carrillo’s heat map. A right winger covering this much ground is not normal at all.
As for the assist, look at the space and time he has to make this run and pass.
On the bright side, a confident Carrillo is an effective Carrillo. Too often we’ve seen him drifting in and out of form with Peru, so at the very least, he could enter the March friendlies with some motivation.