After several years accustomed to seeing the Peruvian team under the command of Ricardo Gareca, Bicolor fans witnessed the beginning of a new era with Juan Reynoso as technical director. The ‘Cabezón’ had its FIFA premiere on this date against rivals Mexico and El Salvador against whom he prepared a different proposal for each one.
Although the match against the Aztecs ended in defeat, the process of the duel was not entirely disadvantageous for Blanquirroja, who during several passages of the match had El Tri involved in their field. More favorable was the meeting with the Selecta, which ended in a landslide victory, although this result could not be considered surprising given the lower hierarchy of the Central Americans.
In total, Reynoso gave minutes to 23 of the 27 players he called up for these preparation games. In addition to those already established, some usually substitutes with the ‘Tiger’ were able to show themselves to the new coach, who will need the widest possible universe to face the next qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.
Between individual performances and collective performance, the double day of friendlies left some positive aspects that the coach will have to enhance in the coming months if he wants to achieve the great goal of putting Peru back in a World Cup.
Although many already had him ‘mapped’ for his participation in League 1 with Cantolao, the 24-year-old winger entered the orbit of the general public by being the figure of victory against El Salvador. Several colorful plays and a goal allowed him to close a debut in style with the senior team.
Showing the same level against stronger teams will be Bryan Reyna’s basic task to maintain the place he earned in the recent call, as well as continue to focus solely on making news for what he does on the courts, even more so now that he has all attention on himself.
In the second game, Reynoso opted for a total renovation by fielding a team that was practically a substitute for the most part. The idea of the strategist was surely to make the most of the lower demand that the Central American squad represented to see the potential of a non-starter squad.
However, he did not leave aside those already consecrated, because in the six variants carried out he sent experienced elements such as Lapadula Cueva, Carrillo, among others.
With an average age slightly over 30, the players who have formed the basis of the last two qualifying processes are still in a position to contribute to what will be the road to the 2026 World Cup and, why not, guide their future replacements in the necessary generational change.
Despite the harsh criticism after losing to Mexico, neither Reynoso nor his team dramatized about it, but instead faced preparation for the next match with good spirits.
Even in the middle of the game against El Salvador, patience was not lost, because shortly after the partial tie after the penalty committed by Zambrano, it became 2-1, also through a penalty, the result of the insistence on looking for the opposite goal. In general, the Peruvian cast did not lose confidence in their game.
At the moment, there is no other confirmed commitment for the Bicolor until the start of the 2026 qualifiers, scheduled for March 2023, but the president of the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF), Agustín Lozano pointed out that there is the intention to play a friendly as a local in November, although he did not indicate who the possible rivals would be.