Australia qualified for the 2022 World Cup following a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Peru, and it’s their fifth consecutive World Cup.
Australia will meet the defending champions France in their opening match of Group D of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar on November 22 and take on Tunisia and Denmark.
Five straight World Cups is a first in the history of the Socceroos. After making it for the first time in 1974, they failed to make the subsequent seven editions before finally qualifying in 2006. There, they made the knockout stage for the first time ever. They’ve been unable to advance from the group stage in their last three World Cups.
Australia finished regulation as the only team creating chances. Ajdin Hrustic, who scored the winning goal against the United Arab Emirates in the Asian playoff, had the first shot on target after 82 minutes and went close again shortly after.
Peru substitute Edison Flores headed against the foot of Australia’s post early in the second period of extra time, but that was as close as 12,000 Peruvian fans in the stadium came to celebrating a goal and as close as either team went to breaking the deadlock.
A gamble after 120 minutes
When the teams couldn’t be separated in regulation and extra time at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Australian goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, who was sent in as a substitute for captain Mat Ryan in the dying seconds of extra time, proved to be the star for the Down Under side by saving the last penalty from Alex Valera.
“I’m not a hero,” Redmayne was quoted as saying. “I just played my role like everyone else did tonight. I’m not going to take credit for this.”
The substitution was a major gamble by coach Graham Arnold, as Redmayne had previously made only two international appearances. It was Redmayne’s unconventional dancing and jumping along the goal line with his arms and legs flailing that worked.
“Andrew Redmayne is a very good penalty saver,” Arnold said in a post-match TV interview, explaining that he made the change to put a “bit of uncertainty into their brains, get into the mental aspect of Peru.”
Heartbreak for Peru
“This is a very hard moment,” Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese said. “I had the dream of seeing our flag once again in the World Cup.
“I am still proud of this team. Now we have to give them support; some teammates are really struggling now.
“Australia did its part and deserved it.”