World Cup: When Peru & Colombia appeared to team up to eliminate Chile in 2018

Peru are one of the nations battling to reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup over the next couple of weeks.

The Peruvians finished fifth in the 10-team CONMEBOL qualifying group, which secured them a spot in the inter-confederation play-offs.

Peru will play a one-off game against either Australia or the United Arab Emirates on June 13th in a bid to reach the sporting showpiece out in Qatar later this year.

The South American nation qualified for the 2018 World Cup by virtue of winning an inter-confederation play-off tie.

They beat New Zealand 2-0 over two legs, although the manner in which Peru reached the inter-confederation play-off stage was somewhat controversial.

How Peru reached the 2018 World Cup inter-confederation play-offs

Peru at the 2018 World Cup
Soccer Football – World Cup – Group C – Australia vs Peru – Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia – June 26, 2018 Peru players after the match REUTERS/Max Rossi

La Blanquirroja finished fifth in 2018 CONMEBOL qualifying, level on points with 2015 and 2016 Copa America winners Chile but with a superior goal difference.

Chile lost their final group match to Brazil 3-0, while Peru drew 1-1 with Colombia thanks to a late own goal from David Ospina.

That result was actually ideal for both Peru and Colombia, with both teams appearing to acknowledge that fact towards the very end of the game.

Peru vs Colombia in 2018
Soccer Football – 2018 World Cup Qualifiers – Peru v Colombia – Nacional Stadium, Lima, Peru – October 10, 2017. Peru’s Christian Ramos and Colombia’s Rodamel Falcao in action. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

In the 90th minute with the scores level at 1-1, which meant Colombia would qualify automatically and Peru would enter into the play-offs, Radamel Falcao had a little chat with Peruvian trio Renato Tapia, Christian Ramos and Miguel Araujo.

Following that short conversation, the game appeared to change quite dramatically. Instead of chasing victory, Peru simply passed the ball around at the back with little to no pressure put on them by their opposition.

Were the 22 players on the pitch all happy to settle for the draw, which would eliminate Chile? Well, the footage certainly seems to suggest that…

Video: Did Colombia & Peru team up to eliminate Chile?

Interesting, very interesting indeed. Had Peru scored a winner, they would have finished ahead of Colombia and qualified for the World Cup automatically, which only adds another layer of intrigue to the action in the footage above.

In the aftermath of the game, Falcao talked about the events that unfolded on the pitch that night in Lima.

The Rayo Vallecano striker told reporters, per ESPN: “Obviously we were aware of what was going on in the other games, we were playing with knowledge of the other results and, in that moment, [we wanted] to make that known.”

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Tapia also discussed the matter, adding: “In the last five minutes, the Colombians approached us. They knew what the situation was in the other games.

“So we managed the game as we had to… I spoke with Radamel, who told me we were both in, but it’s football and we play to win.”

In the end, neither team was found guilty of any wrongdoing.

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