Club Universitario de Deportes – Match Report vs Ayacucho FC (27/08/22)

Universitario came from behind to eventually run out 2-1 winners over Ayacucho after a hard-fought match in Liga 1. Universitario went with a 4-1-4-1 formation and largely dominated possession, with Ayacucho lining up in a 4-4-2. Overall, it was a game without a copious amount of chances, though ‘La U’ most definitely posed the greater attacking threat throughout the 90 minutes. This victory allowed the 26-time Peruvian champions to extend their unbeaten run to 3 games.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Piero Quispe

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Peruvian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 14/08/2001
  • Club: Club Universitario de Deportes
  • Career: Club Universitario de Deportes
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Piero Quispe was deployed on the left of the two central midfielders, though it became clear relatively early on in proceedings that he’d been given far more licence to roam and contribute to attacks than his right-sided peer, Jordan Guivin. Quispe occasionally drifted into a left midfield role, either in an attempt to create space centrally for his left winger to attack, or to himself pick the ball up and drive infield.

Quispe exhibited a fairly impressive understanding of pressing triggers. On two separate occasions he forced an Ayacucho player into an error via an intelligently timed press, leading to a turnover of the ball. If guided by a more tactically astute coach, this ability could be effectively utilised — though question marks would remain over whether he possesses the engine to play as an advanced #8 in a high-pressing system. Despite limited overall defensive involvement, Quispe did show a willingness to track back and assist when needed.

From the get-go, Quispe’s on-ball ability was mightily impressive. He frequently slalomed in and out of oncoming challenges thanks to some delicate footwork. Standing at just 1.70m, the 21-year-old possesses a very low centre of gravity. This evidently aids his dribbling and, coupled with his excellent balance, is a huge factor in regards to the ease with which he’s able to manoeuvre his body to evade opponents.

Quispe’s initial burst of pace when attempting to break clear of an opposing player was reasonably good, though his pace over longer distances was less satisfactory. This isn’t to say that he struggles as a ball-carrier in general, though in European football where, by and large, the physical demands are far greater, he may come unstuck. He did, however, display an ability to ride challenges.

One of the most striking aspects of Quispe’s performance was his proficiency in receiving the ball on the half-turn. The midfielder routinely utilised this innate skill, enabling him to break Ayacucho’s press and, more often than not, slide a neat pass out to either wing. He frequently made himself available to receive the ball from both his defensive midfielder and left centre back, proving a vital cog in Universitario’s build-up.

Quispe’s tendency to pick up good positions in the half-space was a pleasing aspect of his performance. Typically, he’d find himself receiving the ball in the left half-space, but in one instance in particular, his usage of the right half-space proved both intelligent and effective, as he floated a delightful cross onto the head of Alexander Succar, who nodded home the winning goal.

Rating – A1

Despite his potential physical limitations, I’m confident that Piero Quispe’s technical ability and general footballing intelligence would allow him to flourish at a higher level. A handful of clubs in Argentina, as well as MLS, could prove to be ideal next steps for him.

Nelson Cabanillas

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Peruvian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 08/02/2000
  • Club: Club Universitario de Deportes
  • Career: Club Universitario de Deportes, CD San Luis de Quillota, Club Universitario de Deportes
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary position: Left Wing, Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Nelson Cabanillas lined up on the left of Universitario’s back four. Cabanillas saw plenty of the ball throughout the match, frequently receiving from left centre back, Nelinho Quina. Though, in general, he didn’t make much of an impact in the first phase of build-up. The majority of his passes were either sideways, or extremely short passes into his defensive midfielder, Jorge Murrugarra. At times, he ignored the opportunity to carry the ball at pace which would’ve enabled him to progress play.

In spite of his 1.70m frame, Cabanillas displayed impressive upper-body strength when shielding the ball from opposition players. His naturally stocky build enabled him to shrug off challenges and, in turn, win a decent amount of his duels. Cabanillas also exhibited solid positional understanding. He kept the distances between himself and Quina well, whilst also anticipating the correct moment to push out and engage Ayacucho’s right winger. The combination of these two elements meant that very few attacks bore fruit and the threat coming from Ayacucho’s right hand side was largely nullified.

Despite offering little in first phase build-up, Cabanillas did regularly act as an outlet by making overlapping runs. He seldom received the ball after making these runs, but the space he created by dragging an Ayacucho player out of position certainly aided some of Universitario’s attacks. On occasion, he did receive the ball and displayed the ability to whip a decent cross into the box.

There were a few instances which highlighted a lack of technical security on Cabanillas’ part. Loose first touches and questionable ball-carrying technique the standouts in that regard. As previously mentioned, it was a rarity to see the full back attempt to progress the ball via dribbling, though when he did attempt to, both his initial burst of pace and speed over longer distances seemed fairly average.

From the 70th minute onwards, Cabanillas visibly began to tire. Getting back into position after overlapping his winger became far more of a chore, and small lapses of concentration began to creep into his game — nothing major, though against a higher quality of opposition, those lapses would more-than-likely be pounced upon and exposed.

Rating – B1

Nelson Cabanillas displayed an eagerness to contribute in attack with regular overlaps, whilst also looking somewhat comfortable in possession. However, he did tend to lean towards playing things safe. Defensively he was solid, though at a higher level I fear he could struggle.

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