2016 Copa América, Group Stage
  • Paolo Guerrero (61')

Paolo Guerrero leads Peru to Copa America win over Haiti

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Paolo Guerrero became Peru's all-time leading goal scorer in giving his team a 1-0 win over Haiti to begin their Copa America campaign on Saturday.

After a tight first half in Seattle, Peru took control after the break and Guerrero scored in the 61st with a diving header to open Group B play.

The South American side struggled to break down Haiti, making their Copa debut, in the early stages, though Guerrero curled a shot wide.

Haiti threatened in the 28th minute and Peru defender Alberto Rodriguez broke up a one-two with his arm at the top of the box, but Mechak Jerome's free kick was over the bar.

Peru gained in confidence as the game progressed, though, and Renato Tapia blasted a shot wide from 25 yards out.

Guerrero continued to prove dangerous, pushing a volleyed effort off target in the 39th minute.

Just before the break, the Flamengo striker brought the ball down on his chest and laid it off for Edison Flores, who struck the inside of the post, though the ball stayed out.

But the second half belonged to Peru as Haiti struggled to contain Guerrero, and he finally delivered by diving forward to connect with Flores' cross in the middle of the box for his 27th international goal.

Haiti offered little in response until the final minute of stoppage time, when substitute Kervens Belfort got behind the Peru defence on a free kick but somehow pushed his header wide from point-blank range.

Peru took the lead in Group B ahead of Brazil's opener against Ecuador later on Saturday night.