LIMA, July 6 (SW) – Host nation
Peru came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Bolivia in their opening
Group A match of the 2004 Copa America.
Joaquín Botero put the Bolivians 1-0 up in the 35th minute, silencing the crowd
after scoring a goal on a breakaway. The Bolivians, widely considered the worst
road nation in South America had truly given the tournament a shock.
The voltage of the shock doubled in the 56th minute when Lorgio Álvarez put
Bolivia 2-0 in front. On the counterattack, Peruvian goalkeeper Óscar Ibáñez
stormed out to clear the ball, but Álvarez poked it past him and slid the ball
into the open net from a tough angle.
Peru got one goal back in the 68th minute from the penalty spot. After Walter
Vilchez was brought down in the area, Bayern Munich’s Claudio Pizarro stepped up
and beat Bolivian goalkeeper Leonardo Fernández to the left.
Four minutes from time, the crowd erupted again as Peru drew level through
substitute Roberto Palacios. On the edge of the area, Palacios used one touch to
bring the ball up, and another to volley past Fernández.
The next round of Group A matches will be on Friday.