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Trauco settles incredible Copa thriller as Peru edge past Paraguay

Peru players celebrate their victory over Paraguay Source: Getty Images

Peru became the first side to book their place in the Copa America semi-finals after beating Paraguay on penalties in a dramatic tie that finished 3-3 following normal time and saw both teams receive red cards.

Ricardo Gareca's Peru recovered from a goal down thanks to Gianluca Lapadula's first-half double at Estadio Olimpico Pedro Ludovico, where Gustavo Gomez had given Paraguay an early lead on Saturday (AEST).

Paraguay lost captain Gomez to a controversial second bookable offence just before half-time yet hit back through Junior Alonso's strike early in the second half.

Yoshimar Yotun appeared to have won the game for 2019 runners-up Peru with a deflected goal 10 minutes from time, but Andre Carrillo was also dismissed and substitute Gabriel Avalos levelled up in the final seconds to send the contest to penalties.

Gomez reacted quickest to help the ball over the line from a yard out after Pedro Gallese had kept out Hector Martinez's attempt for the first major incident in a Copa classic.

Lapadula then found a way through for Peru with a side-foot finish inside the six-yard box with 21 minutes on the clock following some impressive play from Carrillo.

Yotun slotted in Lapadula to tuck under Antony Silva for his second goal, which was allowed to stand despite the ball hitting the arm of Carrillo in the build-up.

Paraguay were further aggrieved before half-time as Gomez was issued a second yellow card for catching Lapadula with a flailing arm, the defender having to be held back by his teammates as he approached referee Esteban Ostojich.

However, Alonso stepped up and drilled home at the back post after a cross was helped into his path with 54 minutes played.

Paraguay hearts were broken when Yotun's deflected shot from range had Peru on the brink of victory.

There was still time for another couple of twists, though, as Carrillo received a second yellow for a foul on Alberto Espinola and, five minutes later, Avalos slotted into an empty net to spark wild scenes of celebrations.

However, it was Peru who were celebrating come the end of penalties.

Martinez and Braian Samudio both missed for Paraguay, while Santiago Ormeno and Christian Cueva were denied by Silva, but Trauco held his nerve to finally put an end to the tie.

Source Omnisport