Peru U20 – Match Report vs. Brazil U20 (19/01/2023) 

Despite having a disappointing tournament and suffering a 0-3 defeat in this match, it would be criminal to ignore some of the young talent that flashed for Peru in Sudamericano U20. After all, this Peru U20 squad held a clean sheet against Vitor Roque (two goals in second half) and Chelsea’s Andrey Santos at half before giving up a barrage of goals beginning in the 68th minute. Peru lined up in a 4-2-3-1 in the loss and ran a high tactical press with a quick counter-attacking style, utilizing their attackers’ small and quick skillsets in transition well. 

Youth Ratings:

1 – Ready for the first team
2 – Good, potential to be first team
3 – Decent, could make first team squad
4 – Decent potential, unlikely to make it to first team
5 – Unlikely to make first team


Arón Sánchez

Player Profile: 

  • Nationality: Peru
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 04/05/2003
  • Club: Academia Deportiva Cantolao
  • Career: Club Esther Grande de Bentín, Academia Deportiva Cantolao
  • Position: Center Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Arón Sánchez started the game as a left center back for Peru and switched to the right side later in the mach. He is a very active player with a muscular build that sticks out as at average height for the position (185 cm). He takes advantage of his build by having an overall physical game. He has decent recovery speed and displayed confidence and leadership traits as a noticeable communicator in the back line. 

Sánchez was the best Peruvian defender for most of the match outside a couple of detrimental events. The first of which was a lost marker in the box on the first goal, although this was only the second time that he was caught switched off at all. The second event was a foul on a loose ball that gave away a penalty—Sánchez slid in too late but was not booked. Outside of being involved in goals crucial to the result, he defended quite while with aggression by utilizing his physicality. He would step up in midfield to challenge in 1v1s while still playing controlled. At times he got overly physical with his hands and his propensity to put in a physical stand tackle got him in trouble with some fouls. Other times it proved successful and his timeliness on most tackles halted attacks in the box while sliding in or boxing out shoulder-to-shoulder. Despite an impressive aggressive tackling style, Sánchez was inconsistent when clearing his lines. When clearing in his defensive middle third he did well, but out of his box his decision-making suffered when choosing short, long, or at all. In the air, Sánchez was dominant and used his physicality to his advantage then delivering an accurate header with admirable technique. 

In his limited attacking actions, he got involved and active in the box during set pieces. His added size gave the small Peru squad a little more of a level playing field physically. Sánchez did not get under anything meaningful, though. In the buildup, he played in a wide position and made quick decisions standing still with decent passing range. He relied on his right foot for passes and distributed well from both the left and right center back positions. Sánchez played one line-breaking pass through midfield but it was too long, and his target could not get his foot on it before the defense. Overall, he showed basic ball-playing ability and patience/decision-making although he was not too involved offensively. 

Rating – 2

Sánchez’s performance was great in the first half and fell apart with the match in the second half. His mistakes led directly to a couple goals at that point, but prior to those events he was Peru’s best defender. I heard some buzz about him last season, so I was not surprised that he stuck out as a top player for Peru in this match. Sánchez could realistically be named to the senior national team soon and possibly earn a move to a South American league of higher reputation. 


Kenji Cabrera

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Peru
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 27/01/2003
  • Club: FBC Melgar
  • Career: Club Esther Grande de Bentín, FBC Melgar
  • Position: Left Winger 
  • Preferred foot: Right 

Kenji Cabrera is a short (174 cm) left winger with terrific short area quickness although he did not display much contact resistance in this match. Cabrera was easily pushed over and did not respond well to physicality in general. 

Due to the physicality in play, he was able to draw fouls when moving inside with skill. Other than those times, Cabrera generally struggled when cutting inside. His difficulty using pace or skill when doing so really shut him down on the left flank. Peru’s counter-attacking style and lack of possession led to scarce opportunities for him to create. Sometimes, his decision-making was too slow, and he would freeze up on the dribble. One attempt to be creative was after an interception on the wing where he immediately delivered a lefty through ball into the final third, but nothing came of it. His other opportunities to create came out set pieces as the primary taker. One corner kick when too far and when out of the box completely, while a cross on a free kick was a bit too high at the back post and headed out for a corner. The potential as a creator is there, Brazil was just not the squad to showcase it against. 

Defensively, Cabrera pressed high along the left flank. He pressed actively and contributed well to the tactics. On his yellow card, he made a cheap challenge by sticking his butt out and tripping the attacker and he quickly smiled after being booked. In his other tackle attempt, he covered into midfield to make a stand tackle and change possession. 

Rating – 4

Cabrera did not put in a promising performance in this match, though this was against possibly the toughest opponent. He seemed overwhelmed but still displayed a few decent traits. Based on this performance he needs to hone his craft in his domestic league a bit longer. 


Kluiverth Aguilar

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Peru
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 05/05/2003
  • Club: Lommel SK (Loan)
  • Career: Club de Regatas Lima (Y) , Sporting Cristal (Y), Alianza Lima, Manchester City
  • Position: Right Back 
  • Preferred foot: Right 

Kluiverth Aguilar played 82 minutes at right back in this match and has above average height for the position with a lanky build. He has long strides that translate to above average pace. Aguilar is very right footed and does not utilize his left. 

Aguilar consistently made quick and timely decisions from stand still situations when distributing intermediately along the wing and to center backs with back passes. He also tended to play give-and-go’s directed inside to create and found some success with them. On one occasion, Aguilar received after dishing and played a header for a chance at an assist. Shortly after, he hit a cross to the back post for another near assist on a header. Additionally, he showed some creativity as a dribbler inverting with pace. The full back positioned himself far up in midfield and played very attack minded. Despite this, his attacking could improve as he overdribbled and his decision-making got worse when on the move. As the match got away from Peru, Aguilar’s pass accuracy suffered more. 

On defense, he was out of his depth. Aguilar was beat with skill too many times and did not have enough pace to keep up with Brazil’s wingers. He allowed too much space for crosses and more creative passes due to this. Despite his difficulties in 1v1s, he had decent body positioning off ball and had open hips to toward the ball. Aguilar displayed attentiveness in these off-ball situations and was ready to cover on the right wing in most situations. 

Rating – 3

Aguilar will need to improve as a defender before he is a viable option in defense at senior national level or at Manchester City after his loan in the Challenger League has ended. His potential dynamism from the wing on the attack was the promising part of his offensive repertoire. He could be a decent creative threat in a league right outside of Europe’s elite. 


Catriel Cabellos

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Peru 
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 18/08/2004
  • Club: Racing Club
  • Career: Racing Club
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Catriel Cabellos is a very quick attacking midfielder of short stature (172 cm) who was also subbed off after 82 minutes. The midfielder that plays in Argentina must build upper body strength based on the physicality he dealt with in this match. 

On the attack, Cabellos took on a free roam role and spent time patrolling between both flanks. He began by drawing a foul with skill along the left wing. Cabellos also attempted a left-footed cross from the right wing that was poor. One creative move was a quick pass with his right facing pressure to advance the ball near the box. When skilling inside he was not successful and stuck to more distribution. Off ball, he supported along through the middle with quick runs and sometimes drifted wide. His overall attacking play was inconsistent and was hard to come to conclusions about due to his lack of time on ball combined with his squad’s low time in possession. 

In defense, he was relentless in the tactical high press up the pitch. Cabellos was very active and continued running at the buildup, not letting the Brazil defenders stop feeling the pressure. At one point he even went shoulder-to-shoulder to win a loose ball. His defensive effort and tactical pressing were the most impressive parts of his game. 

Rating – 5

Based on this performance, Cabellos is a ways away from affecting senior football in a meaningful way. If he wants to break into the senior national team, he has a lot of work to do and the same goes for breaking into Racing’s first team in Argentina. 


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