Mexico, Peru battle to stalemate

Mexico's Enrique Esqueda (white jersey) in action against host Peru in an international friendly on June 3, 2015, in Lima. (Photo: Mexsport)

LIMA, Peru – A header by Juan Carlos Valenzuela rallied visiting Mexico to a 1-1 draw with 10-man Peru in a Copa America warm-up match on Wednesday at the Estadio Nacional.

The Tricolor, which moved to 3W-1D-1L in 2015, will face host Brazil in another friendly on Sunday in Sao Paulo.

After scoreless first half, Peru took a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute.  Joel Sanchez gained possession on the right, 45 yards from the Mexico net.  The 25-year-old attacking midfielder pushed forward, finding Paolo Guerrero in the right side of the box.  His cross was deflected off the right post and bounced across the face of the goal.  Goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera failed in an attempt to swat it away, allowing Jefferson Farfan to tap home at the left post.

Eight minutes later, substitute Luis Montes nearly leveled, but the Leon midfielder’s well-struck shot from 16-yards was well saved by Pedro Gallese.

Valenzuela, though, would not miss in the 76th minute.  The Atlas defender beat Gallese to a Montes free kick, heading in from just outside the six-yard box.  It was the 31-year-old defender’s first-ever international goal for Mexico in his 22nd game.

Peru was reduced to 10 men in the 78th minute, when Pedro Requena was sent off for his second bookable offense. 

Mexico will open its Copa America campaign against Bolivia on June 12 in Viña del Mar, Chile.