Ecuador 1-2 Peru
5 September 2017
Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito
World Cup Qualifier
Scorers: Valencia (Ecuador); Flores, Hurtado (Peru)

Peru retained the UFWC title with this World Cup qualifier win over Ecuador in Quito. Edison Flores and Paolo Hurtado scored the goals as 10-man Peru survived an Ecuador fightback to make a huge step towards Russia 2018, and to remain unofficial football world champions.

All three goals can within a six-minute spell in the second half. Flores broke the deadlock, just as he had in the previous game, with a stunning 20-yard strike into the bottom corner of the Ecuador net. Then Hurtado doubled Peru’s lead, side-footing home after a quick break.

Almost immediately, though, Peru were hit by a double blow. First Christian Ramos was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for pulling back Enner Valencia in the penalty area – although perhaps a red card should have been shown to Ramos’s teammate Alberto Rodriguez, who followed up with a quite ridiculous tackle.

Valencia picked himself up to take and score the penalty for Ecuador, but 10-man Peru managed to hold on to their lead, and retain the UFWC title.

The win pushed Peru up into the fourth (and last) qualifying position in the CONMEBOL table, ahead of Argentina on goals scored, and two points behind Colombia. And those two sides are Peru’s next opponents in the final round of qualification matches. Two victories would guarantee Peru a place at Russia 2018, and their first appearance at a World Cup Finals since 1982. However, a win and a draw should just about be sufficient.

As far as the UFWC goes, this was Peru’s ninth title match win, and it moves them up to 22nd in the all-time rankings.

The next title match will be Argentina v Peru on 5 October 2017. We’ll have full coverage right here.

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About Paul Brown

Paul is a freelance journalist and author. He created the UFWC in 2003, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book. He can be found on Twitter @paulbrownUK.