With new boss, Bolivia wins first qualifier: Peru woes

National teams

A slow and cut game earned the first three points from La Paz.

Bolivia vs Peru
Photo: EFE

It’s by no means a great spectacle, a fancy match or great plays, but at this point, that matters little in La Paz.

More importantly, Bolivia, with a new coach, achieved its first 2-0 win against Peru and left the bottom of the 2026 World Cup qualifying table.


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The game was slow at the start, but the goal was sparked: Henry Vaca’s left-footed shot, after Marcelo Moreno Martins’ pass, opened the scoring after 20 minutes, a novelty for the faithful locals.

There would be no reaction from Peru, who had only one deflected header from Lapa, a team without weapons and soulless looking for another goal.

The second half started short, with mistakes and poor accuracy, and on 75 minutes came Marcelo Moreno Martins’ emotional moment: he retired from his national team amid loud applause and chants of thanks. His team (31 goals) and the third highest performance in the qualifiers. He was replaced by nationalized Colombian Jair Reynoso.

Then, on 87 minutes, great joy for the Bolivians: Ramiro Vacca from mid-range beat the goalkeeper after Jaime Arrasquita’s pass, a goal that had to be reviewed in VAR, and it went up on the scoreboard.

Antonio Carlos Jaco achieved what seemed impossible: gave the Bolivian team, in La Paz, the first victory of the qualifiers, which did not seriously change the panorama and only affected the base of the table: Bolivia is ninth with 3 points and Peru. Finally, with one.

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Wilmot Chandler

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