Alexis Arias, his golazo for Melgar lets him dream of playing in the Copa America

The Peruvian midfielder lifted his head and scored a screamer to give his side the 1-0 victory over U de Chile.

This was his 12th match in the CONMEBOL Libertadores. He'd attempted to score on many occasions but it never quite came off for him. However in the second half he brought the ball under control with ease, lifted his head and powered an unstoppable shot past the historic Jonnhy Herrera. He couldn't quite believe it. He was swarmed by his teammates and celebrated by touching his own head. Alexis Arias knew the whole continent was watching him at that moment.

"I hope to impress the coach," he declared last year when Ricardo Gareca called him up for Peru. They need midfielders and he was his turn in November. He'd been called up before, in 2016, and has always represented Melgar since his debut in 2014. He's won five titles in his career already although he did have a trial in Holland, in 2013.

At 23, Arias is one of Melgar's biggest stars. Jorge Pautasso, the head coach, knows this well. The midfielder sometimes sits further back, organising the team and finding those defence-splitting passes. In the 4-2-3-1 he's someone who brings the whole team together. Arias doesn't score many goals - he's only got 8 to his name in total - but last night he scored an absolute stunner.

In the last transfer window a lot of sides enquired about Arias however he remained at Melgar. The dream of winning the CONMEBOL Libertadores, right now, remains strong. The return leg against U de Chile in Santiago won't be eays. But he's fighting for his dream with an eye on another prize too: playing in the Copa America 2019 with Peru.

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