Guerrero hat-trick powers Peru to third
Paolo Guerrero bagged an assured hat-trick as Peru clinched third place in the Copa America with an entertaining victory over 10-man Venezuela in La Plata.

William Chiroque opened his international account to hand Peru a first-half lead before Venezuela were hit by the harsh dismissal of Tomas Rincon 13 minutes into the second half.

Guerrero bagged his first of the night on 63 minutes but Juan Fernando Arango put Venezuela back in the match 13 minutes from time with a crisp finish.

Guerrero had the final say, however, completing his treble with two late strikes to move clear as the tournament's top scorer on five goals.

Peru had the better of the opening exchanges but could manage only two half-chances in the first 20 minutes, with Christian Ramos' downward header from a corner and Carlos Lobaton's dangerously flicked on free-kick both picked off by Venezuela goalkeeper Renny Vega.

On 37 minutes Peru went close again when Rinaldo Cruzado's cute one-two with Chiroque ended with the latter firing against the legs of the keeper.

Venezuela grew as the half wore on, and Giancarlos Maldonado had a goal correctly chalked off for offside on 29 minutes, while two minutes later the same player saw his cheeky backheeled effort also ruled out after he strayed beyond the last man in the build-up.

Maldonado was in the thick of the action again on 34 minutes, nodding the ball down for Miku who turned his man before firing in a shot that produced a smart save from Raul Fernandez.

But for all Venezuela's increasing pressure, it was Peru who found themselves ahead on 42 minutes.

A quick break did the damage, Chiroque running at the last two defenders before picking out Guerrero, who squared the ball for Chiroque to bundle home.

Venezuelan hopes of drawing level were hit just before the hour when they were reduced to 10 men.

Rincon, who missed his side's semi-final defeat due to a red card in the quarter-final win over Chile, was harshly dismissed again on 58 minutes when Carlos Lobaton made a meal of a challenge that merited a yellow card at most.

And within five minutes Peru had made their man advantage tell, Guerrero combining well with Chiroque before the Hamburg striker lashed high into the net to register his third goal of the tournament.

Venezuela got back into the match on 78 minutes when Yoandry Orozco's superb 20-yard through ball was taken down by Arango, who kept his cool to convert sweetly with the outside of his left boot.

Minutes later Arango's free-kick was poorly dealt with by Fernandez, whose parry went back into the danger zone only for Gabriel Cichero to blaze wide with the goal gaping.

And Cichero's miss was punished to the full in the 90th minute when Guerrero was played in, the striker taking a touch before burying the ball precisely in the opposite corner.

The man-light Venezuelan defence was by now run into the ground, and three minutes into stoppage time Guerrero grabbed his third after being played in by Luis Advincula, the hitman again showing a cool head as he tucked the ball home low into the net.
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