LIMA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Peru's national soccer team plays Chile Friday in a Brazil 2014 qualifier, with several of its key players hampered by injuries, sources at the National Sports Village in Peru's capital Lima said Thursday.
Sources said Peru's central defender Carlos Zambrano, who plays for Frankfurt, Germany, was recovering from an injury to his left shoulder, but is now afflicted by a respiratory problem, throwing his participation in Friday's match into question.
Left defensive lineman Juan Vargas (Genoa, Italy), meanwhile, is suffering from muscular fatigue and midfielder Carlos Lobaton (Cristal, Peru) has a back problem.
The team's Uruguayan coach, Sergio Markarian, is also facing other obstacles in selecting his lineup, including that several players and substitutes who play for teams abroad have not been playing regularly and are not in top shape.
Such is the case of captain and forward Claudio Pizarro (Bayern Munich, Germany), midfielder Rinaldo Cruzado (Newells, Argentina) and goalkeeper Alberto Rodriguez (Rio Ave, Portugal).
Markarian will also have to do without forward Paolo Guerrero (Corinthians, Brazil) and right defensive lineman Luis Advincula (Hoffenheim, Germany), who were suspended from the upcoming game for collecting too many yellow cards.
Markiaran has said the team needs the maximum number of victories to qualify for the World Cup, or fans will simply have to wait and see how the other teams do, then calculate whether Peru has the points needed to qualify.
Currently, Argentina leads the qualifying round with 20 points, followed by Ecuador (17), Colombia (16), Venezuela, Uruguay and Chile (both with 12).
On Friday, Peru needs to defeat Chile, its historic rival, to hold on to the opportunity of securing one of the four direct tickets to the cup, otherwise, it could end up disputing fifth place regionally in playoffs.
Peru is currently in 9th place with 8 points, the same as Bolivia, which has a higher number of goals scored, and ahead of Paraguay, which trails the region's teams with 7 points.
In the first round of the South American qualifiers, Chile defeated Peru 4-2 in Santiago, Chile.
Friday's game between the two is at 9 pm local time (0200 GMT) at Lima' s 35,000-seat National Stadium.