Peru hopes to crack New Zealand defense for World Cup berth

Peru assistant coach Nestor Bonillo, center, talks with Peru's players during a practice in Lima, Peru, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Peru will face New Zealand in Lima on Nov. 15, in an intercontinental World Cup playoff. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

LIMA, Peru (AP) Peru coach Ricardo Gareca says New Zealand will only think about defending in the second leg of their playoff on Wednesday as the visitors try to reach next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Peru is trying for its first berth since 1982, and its fifth overall. New Zealand has only qualified twice, the last time coming in 2010 in South Africa.

Gareca says ”I’m sure they’re going to stay back” following a 0-0 draw last week in Wellington.

The streets in the Peruvian capital are all decked out in the red and white of the team’s colors, ahead of a match where Peru will be the favorite to advance.

Peru is trying to join four other South American teams that have already qualified: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay.