Andrew Redmayne becomes Australia’s hero as Socceroos beat Peru to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Australia defeated Peru on penalties to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Australia defeated Peru on penalties in the AFC-CONMEBOL Inter-Confederation playoff to book their place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The match ended 0-0 after 120 minutes before the Socceroos won 5-4 on penalties.

Australia’s head coach Graham Arnold made only one change to the team that won 2-1 against the United Arab Emirates. Matthew Leckie, who played as a centre-forward in that match, was withdrawn to the role of a left-winger in Craig Goodwin’s place. Meanwhile, Mitchell Duke slotted in as the lone man up front.

Meanwhile, Ricardo Gareca made four changes to his starting XI following a 1-0 win over New Zealand. In defense, Aldo Corzo and Marcos Lopez made way for Luis Advincula and Miguel Trauco respectively. Renato Tapia was preferred for the role of a holding midfielder ahead of Pedro Aquino, while further up the pitch, Yoshimar Yotun made way for Christofer Gonzales.

The game had a frantic start with Duke trying to justify his selection instantaneously, as he pulled the trigger in only the 3rd minute of the match. However, his shot was not on target. Only a minute later, a precise cross from Peru’s Andre Carillo found Gianluca Lapadula unmarked inside the box, but the Benevento striker could not keep his header on target.

The Socceroos had a similar chance in the 16th minute when Aaron Mooy floated in a beautiful cross to find Jackson Irvine, who, like Lapadula, failed to have proper direction in his header. The next few minutes saw both teams trying to convert half-chances, albeit to no avail.

The next big opportunity arrived for Australia in the 40th minute when Irvine found himself at the receiving end of yet another cross, this time floated in by Martin Boyle. However, the FC St. Pauli midfielder had seemingly left his goal-scoring boots or rather head, back in the dressing room. Just before the lemon break, Mooy found Leckie with a freekick, but following the established pattern, he could not direct his header on target either.

With his crosses going down the drain, Mooy himself went for glory in the 53rd minute, only to drag his shot wide of the goal. Having sat back for major spells in the game, Gareca’s team eventually decided to attack after the hour-mark, with Sergio Pena and Christian Cueva trying out long-rangers. However, neither of them was clinical enough to find the back of the net.

In the 81st minute, Ajdin Hrustic almost scored for the Socceroos with a left-footed shot from outside the box, but Peru’s skipper and custodian Pedro Gallese came to the rescue of the team. Four minutes later, Aziz Behic struck a sublime shot after receiving a pass from Awer Mabil, but his attempt rattled the crossbar and stayed out.

Gallese was called into action once again in the 88th minute, with Hrustic being Arnold’s attacker-in-chief yet again. From another Mabil pass, the Eintracht Frankfurt played tried finding the bottom right corner, but he found the Orlando City goalkeeper instead to take the game to extra time.

The first major chance of extra time fell to Peru, in the 99th minute of the game. From a Cueva pass, Edison Flores struck a precise shot from quite a distance away from the goal, but Ryan pulled off a good save to keep his team in the game.

Then in the 106th minute, we saw a role reversal as Flores tried to return the favour by playing a defense-splitting pass for Cueva, but the Al-Fateh midfielder dragged his shot save. In the next couple of minutes, Pedro Aquino and Advincula also tried their luck, but to no avail, as the game headed to penalties.

Second-choice goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne proved to be the hero for Australia

Second-choice goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne proved to be the hero for Australia

Australia had a disastrous start as the very first penalty, taken by Boyle, was saved by Gallese. The next four penalties resulted in goals until the complexion changed in Peru’s third shot where veteran right-back Advincula struck the post.With Australia scoring every single penalty following Boyle’s miss, the pressure kept on mounting on La Blanquirroja, and they eventually committed a mistake in their sixth shot. Second-choice goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, who replaced skipper Ryan specifically for the penalties, proved why he is Australia’s number one custodian when it comes to penalties as he saved Alex Valera’s shot to take his nation to their fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup campaign.