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Peru national under-17 football team

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Despite the current failures of the senior side, the Peruvian U-17 team has given brand new stars and hopes to Peruvian fans early in the year of 2007. After their first FIFA U-17 World Cup appearance in 2005 (Peru as host nation), the youth team greatly improved in skill and determination. Their first U-17 World Cup saw them lose with merely 1 point. Yet, they started the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup with a bang as they defeated the local South Korean team with an array of constant attacks and effective counter-attacks that completely overwhelmed their opponents.

The U-17 team's success in 2007 came from the leadership of Juan Jose Ore, and the appearance of good players like Reimond Manco. Not only that, but Peru showcased some of the best team games of the South American tournament and in the 2007 World Cup. Although they were eliminated during the quarterfinals, Peru's U-17 squad seems to be having high hopes for future competitions.

Road to the 2007 U-17 World Cup

In 2007, the Peruvian U-17 football team went to the 2007 South American Under 17 Football Championship that was held in Ecuador that started March 4 of that year. In the debut match, the Peruvian team had to face the Brazil. The Peruvians surprised the Brazilians 2-1 with one goal scored by Reimond Manco and the impressive forward La Torre.

In the group stage, Peru won most of the matches and ended first in its group (qualifying to the final round).

In the final round of the tournament (where the first 4 qualified to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup) Peru won the first match against Venezuela. In the next match, Brazil crushed Peru 4-0 and Colombia trounced them 3-0. By the fourth match Brazil, Colombia and Argentina were already qualified for the main tournament and Peru, Venezuela and host Ecuador had to fight for the last qualification spot.

The fifth match saw Peru with the obligation to defeat Ecuador. The match started horribly for Peru when an Ecuadorian midfielder scored at the first minutes of play. Peru answered quickly when Reimond Manco assisted midfielder Sanchez for a goal. Ecuador was seen to have determination, and it scored once again at the 20th minute of the first half. However, Reimond Manco scored goal caused by a mistake from the Ecuadorian Mendoza, sending them one huge step closer to the world tournament and eliminating their fierce rivals.

For the last match against Argentina, Peru had to lose by at least 4 goals to be eliminated. Peru was capable of drawing the match and classified to the U-17 World Cup. Reimond Manco was named as the best player of the competition by the CONMEBOL.

Recent friendley's

During the month of late September Peru sub-17 had 4 international friendley's with the countries of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia,, and Venezuela. Their first one was versus Venezuela in Maracaibo where Peru managed to beat them 1-2 with goals from Reimond Manco and Nestor Duarte and Terni Custe pk for Venezuela. Their next game was versus Chile in Lima,Peru where Peru beat them 2-0. Their 3rd game was versus Bolivia where they beat them 5-0. Their last game was versus Colombia in Bogota the favorites to win was Colombia , but Peru showed themselves worthy by tieying Colombia 2-2.

{| class="wikitable small" style="text-align:center" width="100%" |- !Date !Venue !Opponents !Result !Score |- |March 4, 2007 |Riobamba, Ecuador | |W | 2 - 1 |- |- |March 6, 2007 |Riobamba, Ecuador | |W | 4 - 1 |- |- |March 8, 2007 |Ambato, Ecuador | |L | 1 - 3 |- |- |March 10, 2007 |Ambato, Ecuador | |D | 0 - 0 |- |- |March 16, 2007 |Ibarra, Ecuador | |W | 2 - 1 |- |- |March 18, 2007 |Ibarra, Ecuador | |L | 0 - 4 |- |- |March 20, 2007 |Ibarra, Ecuador | |L | 0 - 3 |- |- |March 23, 2007 |Latacunga, Ecuador | |D | 2 - 2 |- |- |March 25, 2007 |Quito, Ecuador | |D

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2007 U-17 World Cup

First Round

The same week as Peru was to face South Korea, a terrible 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit Peru. Peru thus started the tournament with the huge responsibility of bringing some joy to the thousands of Peruvians left homeless.

The surprise came from the start, Peru went all out into the attack. Not only that, but the Peruvian defense was effective and even managed to counter-attack on many occasions. South Korea was also decided to win, especially since they were playing at home. At the 29th minute, with a goal of Carlos Bazalar, Peru set itself ahead and was able to maintain its high-performance with several other chances of scoring. The match ended with the "Incas'" victory of 1-0.

The second game, against Togo, proved to be quite a challenge for Peru. Togo went completely into the attack from the start of the game, and Peru was forced to wait for its chance. The attacks of Togo were, though, not very conclusive. Once Peru had the ball, its attacks were more effective, but no favorable conclusion came to them either. Peruvian forwards, Reimond Manco and Irven Avila were the main driving forces of Peru; but goalie Eder Hermoza proved himself against the strikes of Togo. The match ended in a 0-0, mainly favoring Peru which by then had 4 points, a score that could get them to the next round as one of the best third.

Next came the game against Costa Rica, another tough opponent for Peru. The game itself was pretty much dominated by Peru, for during the first-half it were the blanquirrojas that did the most attacks and held the ball. Nevertheless, Costa Rica held good on the back and their goalie showed his skills after ending every Peruvian attack he faced. This went on into the second-half, when the Costa Rican "Ticos" began to attack more. In the last minutes of the game, Peru scored and secured the group's first place.

Second Round

Once into the second round, Peru faced the Tajikistan. The first-half belonged to a Peru that did its best to attack even though the field was badly flooded by the rain. Tajikistan also did several tries, but Peru's attacks were more effective even though they were both inconclusive at the end. Nevertheless, Peru scored first and held victory for a couple of minutes later Tajikistan would score also after a long-shot that benefited from the rain and flooded field.

Peru overcame Tajikistan 5-4 in a typically nailbiting penalty shoot-out to take their place in the last eight at Korea 2007. The hero of the hour was shot-stopper Eder Hermoza, who saved the Tajiks' first spot-kick before Irven Avila coolly finished the job off with the decisive penalty.

As the rain teemed down in Suwon, it was the South Americans who adapted more quickly to the soggy pitch, pinning their opponents back from the off and taking the lead on 13 minutes thanks to a fine strike from distance by Reimond Manco. Undeterred, Tajikstan were back on level terms just two minutes later when Nuriddin Davronov's shot slipped out of Hermoza's grasp and into the back of the net.

The two evenly matched sides then traded blows in midfield as the chances largely dried up. The pattern remained unchanged virtually throughout the second half despite the magical Manco's tireless prompting. Peru's insistence nearly paid off in the closing stages when Avila struck the crossbar with a thunderous drive.

Extra time came and went with little in the way of goalmouth action apart from a late Tajik shot that rebounded from Hermoza's crossbar, setting the stage for 'The Cat' to show his feline reactions and pave Peru's way to victory by keeping out Farkoud Vasiev's penalty e

Quarterfinals

Once in the quarterfinals, Peru faced Ghana. The Ghana national football team had previously faced and beat the mighty Brazil, whom had previously won the U-17 South American tournament. The Peruvians more than anything had spirit and hopes to keep advancing into the next rounds. Still, even though Peru tried, Ghana proved to be a very good adversary and the game was won by the Africans 2-0.

Peru's squad was disappointed for the loss, but the team had made history in the tournament.

Current U-17 Squad

Head coach: Juan Jose Ore

See also

Peru national football team

Federacion Peruana de Futbol

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