Hero Hermoza sends Peru through
Peru overcame Tajikistan 5-4 in a typically nailbiting penalty shoot-out to take their place in the last eight at Korea 2007. The hero of the hour was shot-stopper Eder Hermoza, who saved the Tajiks' first spot-kick before Irven Avila coolly finished the job off with the decisive penalty.
As the rain teemed down in Suwon, it was the South Americans who adapted more quickly to the soggy pitch, pinning their opponents back from the off and taking the lead on 13 minutes thanks to a fine strike from distance by Reimond Manco. Undeterred, Tajikstan were back on level terms just two minutes later when Nuriddin Davronov's shot slipped out of Hermoza's grasp and into the back of the net.
The two evenly matched sides then traded blows in midfield as the chances largely dried up. The pattern remained unchanged virtually throughout the second half despite the magical Manco's tireless prompting. Peru's insistence nearly paid off in the closing stages when Avila struck the crossbar with a thunderous drive.
Extra time came and went with little in the way of goalmouth action apart from a late Tajik shot that rebounded from Hermoza's crossbar, setting the stage for 'The Cat' to show his feline reactions and pave Peru's way to victory by keeping out Farkoud Vasiev's penalty effort.