Former Aston Villa midfielder Nobby Solano was delighted as Peru recorded an impressive 2-1 win over Uruguay in a crunch World Cup qualifier.
Solano, who spent 18 months at Villa between 2004 and 2005, is now Peru’s assistant manager.
And his country fought off a star-studded Uruguay side boasting the likes of Barcelona ace Luis Suarez and PSG striker Edinson Cavani to help their bid to reach the finals in Russia next summer.
Peru took advantage of Argentina’s shock defeat to Bolivia and now sit four points behind a play-off spot.
Solano joined Villa from Newcastle in 2004 and was voted player of the year in his second season at the club.
His Villa park career saw him make 52 appearances in total, scoring nine goals, before moving back to Newcastle in 2005.
He was appointed Peru’s assistant manager to Ricardo Gareca after winning 95 caps for his country.
“We’re still alive,” Solano told Chronicle Live .
“It would be a dream come true to get to Russia next summer.
“We now have to wait until August to play Bolivia at home but we are in with a chance and we must keep going.
“It was an excellent win over Uruguay.
“They are a team with world class players in there who play in the top leagues in Europe.”
Solano, though, knows how tough the final four games of qualifying will be.
He said: “The South American qualifiers are very difficult indeed these days.
“Look at Argentina, they are not guaranteed an automatic slot and are fighting to stay in the play-offs.
“Brazil will qualify now but last year Dunga was sacked and replaced by Tite.
“There are no easy games in international football as Iceland also showed last summer with England at the Euros.”
Source : BirminghamMail