Australia book World Cup place on penalties

Img

After defeating Peru on penalties in an intercontinental play-off in Qatar, Australia became the 31st side to secure a place in the 2022 World Cup.

Alex Valera's final kick was saved by goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, who replaced Mat Ryan just before the shootout for his third cap.

Australia will compete in its fifth World Cup in a row, having qualified every time since 2006.

They will compete in Group D with holders France, Denmark, and Tunisia.

The final World Cup team will be determined on Tuesday when Costa Rica plays New Zealand at the same venue, the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

The choice by Australia coach Graham Arnold to replace captain Ryan with Redmayne, whose only previous competitive international was against Nepal, was startling, but it ultimately paid off.

The 33-year-old Sydney FC goalkeeper danced on the line for each kick in an attempt to confuse the Peruvians, and Luis Advincula hit the post before Valera's final penalty was saved.

"He's a very good penalty saver, and I did something that could hurt them psychologically," Arnold explained.

"They were presumably thinking to themselves, 'Why is this person being brought on, he must to be terrific.'"

"Perhaps that's why they struck the post. It takes a 1% mental effort to annoy the Peru penalty takers. It was a gamble, but it paid off."

Redmayne, who had tryouts at Arsenal as a child, was making his third appearance for Australia.

"This was floated pre-selection that this would happen in these kinds of conditions, and for the two or three weeks we've been here [in Qatar], I've kind of had that in my head," Redmayne explained.

"I've been working on a couple things in training, but at the end of the day, it's a coin flip, right or left."

"I'm no hero; I just did my job like everyone else tonight."

Reactions Comment Share