Own goal sinks Peru as Chile tops Copa group

MENDOZA, Argentina, (Reuters) – An own goal in  injury time gave Chile a dramatic 1-0 victory over Peru yesterday to leave them top of their group ahead of the Copa  America quarter-finals.

Chile centre back Waldo Ponce was initially credited  following a goal-mouth scramble in the 92nd minute, but the  official Copa America website (www.ca2011.com) later marked the  score as an own goal by Peru’s Andre Carrillo.

The result left Chile with an unassailable seven points at  the top of Group C. They will play Group B’s second-place  getters in the quarter-finals — either Brazil, Paraguay or  Venezuela — in San Juan.

Peru, on four points, will have to wait for the outcome of  the late match between Uruguay and Mexico in La Plata to find  out their next opponents.

Having booked their places in the quarter-finals before  kick-off, neither Chile nor Peru looked particularly interested  in winning their clash in Mendoza.

Peru coach Sergio Markarian rested nine players from their  previous match while Claudio Borghi made six changes to the  Chile’s starting line-up.

Roared on by around 30,000 fans in the Malvinas Argentinas  stadium, Chile created the first real chance of the match in the  14th minute when Jean Beausejour fired in a low cross from the  left which Esteban Paredes just failed to reach.

Peru almost scored from a similar move in the 38th minute.  Right back Giancarlo Carmona provided the cross and Josepmir  Ballon, stealing in at the back post, stretched out a leg but  failed to direct the ball goalwards.

Tempers frayed in the second half and both sides ended the  match with 10 men after Beausejour and Carmona were sent off  after an hour for their part in a melee that drew in all 22  players.

The match appeared to be heading for a goalless and  increasingly tetchy stalemate until the scrappy late strike  sealed the win for Chile.

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