Peru 3, Mexico 1
August 20, 2003
AP - Aug 20, 10:29 pm EDT
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Claudio Pizarro scored a goal in the first 15 seconds and Roberto Palacios added two assists as Peru beat Mexico 3-1 Wednesday night in a game marred by a bench-clearing brawl.
The teams finished with nine players apiece after a wild altercation in the 68th minute. Several punches were thrown, and eventually both teams left the field as fighting continued in the stadium tunnel outside the locker rooms.
When the teams returned to the field, officials ejected Mexico's Jared Borgetti and Omar Briseno, along with Pizarro and John Galliquio of Peru.
Peru, which last qualified for the World Cup in 1982, was a substitution for Spain, which pulled out of the contest two weeks ago. But before 30,143 at Giants Stadium, Peru didn't perform like a replacement squad, taking control in the very first minute.
Right off the kickoff, midfielder Palacios broke through the Mexico defense and played the ball ahead to a streaking Pizarro, who hit a soft left-footer past Mexico goalkeeper Oscar Perez for a 1-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game.
In the 19th minute, Briseno's header was stopped by Peru goalie Erick Delgado, who hit his head on the post. Delgado was prone for several minutes but remained in the game.
Peru increased its lead to 2-0 on a goal set up by Palacios. His free kick went across to Carlos Zegarra, who headed it home in the 31st minute.
Two minutes later, Nolberto Solano knocked in a rebound of his own shot to increase the lead to 3-0.
Mexico scored its goal in the 54th minute when Octavio Valdez made a perfect cross to Mariano Trujillo, whose right-footed blast eluded Delgado.