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No Colombia pact, insists Peru's Tapia

12 October 2017

Not that the draw would have suited Peru, if they had won they would have gone through to the World Cup automatically.

The two nations played out a 1-1 draw in their final qualifier this week, which earned the Colombians their place at the Russian Federation showpiece while Peru are through to the playoffs, ahead of Chile on goal difference.

"In the last few minutes, we were tougher for the experience against Paraguay and when the goal came it was not easy", he said.

Radamel Falcao
TYC SPORTSRadamel Falcao is clearly seen in discussions with a Peru player

In fantastic footage caught on camera, Colombia captain and Monaco striker Radamel Falcao can be seen having intense discussions with several Peruvian players with many now suggesting that the 31-year-old was explaining that a draw would qualify both sides.

Colombia and Peru's alleged pact must have infuriated Chile, who were heading for Russian Federation until Peru's 76th minute equaliser. Whatever the case may be, question marks over Falcao's behaviour and the shady final minute of the game have been raised.

Peru ended up with a goal difference of +1 and Chile -1 as Ricardo Gareca's team march on.

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Asked by Colombian media in the mixed zone after the match what he'd said to Peru's captain Paolo Guerrero, Falcao said: "We knew what was happening in the other matches, we were playing with (the knowledge of) the other results and in that moment (I tried) to transmit that (to Peru)".

Peru's Renato Tapia has revealed that Falcao informed him that both Colombia and Peru would qualify if the scoreline didn't change, although he denied that a deal had been agreed not to go for a victor. "They knew what the situation was in the other games", Tapia told Panamericana TV station in an interview aired on Wednesday. The game was managed as it had to be managed.

Former Newcastle midfielder Nolberto Solano, who is on Peru's coaching staff, supported Tapia's comment about the alleged pact.

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They will face New Zealand in a two-legged tie, the victor of which will earn a spot at the World Cup.

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No Colombia pact, insists Peru's Tapia