Shock! Peru ousts Brazil on “Hand of God” goal

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

Controversy doesn’t get much bigger than this.

Taking a page from the history books of Brazil’s arch-nemesis Argentina, Peru managed to get away with a blatant hand ball goal from Raul Ruidiaz in the second half of their encounter in Gillette Stadium. That was enough to oust the Seleçao from the tournament and catapult Peru to a first-place finish in Group B.

Andy Polo sent a cross in late in the second half towards an open Ruidiaz. The handball-hero feigned a kick towards the ball while simultaneously slapping it into the back of the net. It was enough to fool referee Andres Cunha, whom after lengthy deliberation with his linesmen, called the attempt a goal.

While Brazil owned the possession and shot battle, they rarely tested Peruvian ‘keeper Pedro Gallese. Thanks to a largely inept offensive effort from the Brazilians, Peru take first place in the group with 7 points (2-0-1). Ecuador finish second with five points (1-0-2).

Brazil’s tournament ends alongside Group B minnow, Haiti.

Peru now move on to face Colombia at MetLife Stadium on June 17 while Ecuador faces the U.S. Men’s National Team on the 16 in Seattle, WA.