Australia vs Peru: Redmayne's heroics sail Socceroos to World Cup with a shootout win over Peru

Graham Arnold brought on substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne for Mathew Ryan in the final minute of extra time, who made two crucial saves to secure the win.

Redmayne turned hero by making saves against Luis Advincula and Alex Valera, to send the Aussies to another World Cup.   -  REUTERS

Australia maintained its streak of a fifth successive World Cup appearance after it beat Peru 5-4 on penalties at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium here on Monday.

With the score deadlocked at 0-0, Australia coach Graham Arnold brought on substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, who had just two senior appearances under his belt, for Mathew Ryan in the final minute of extra time.

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The 33-year-old Redmayne’s unorthodox approach on the goal line vindicated Arnold’s move as he pulled off two saves in the shoot-out to give Socceroos a momentous win.

Arnold wanted his men to do it the ‘Aussie Way’; make it hard and a physical battle for the opponents for 90 minutes (and beyond). The Aussies maintained their shape and were patient in the build-up. Aaron Mooy was running the show in the middle of the park, and they threatened from corners and were hard to break down.

As Arnold alluded to in the pre-match, Australia had the advantage of having played multiple times in these conditions and was sharper from the first whistle. Peru, which is playing its first match in Qatar, appeared leggy and was guilty of misplacing several passes.

As the Aussies walked off the pitch at half-time content with its showing, the Peruvian players were unimpressed with their efforts. Skipper Pedro Gallese called in for a quick huddle before they headed into the dressing room.

With a point to prove, Peru came out stronger in the second period.

The South Americans had two corners in the opening five minutes, and found themselves in between the channels and counter-attacking opportunities, but the Aussies regrouped themselves to deny any real opening at goal. While Peru was keen on making it an end-to-end affair, the Aussies were content with slowing the game down.

The match’s first shot on target came in the 80th minute when Ajdin Hrustic found Gallese’s gloves from a direct free-kick before left-back Aziz Behich missed the far post corner from long range. Peru’s first effort on goal was in the 99th minute.

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Peru found a much-needed extra gear in the final 15 minutes of extra time and ramped up the efforts on goal. Edison Flores came close when struck the post from close range but the Aussies again brought the tempo down.

With penalties approaching, Arnold brought on Redmayne, who turned hero by denying Luis Advincula and Alex Valera, to send the Aussies to another World Cup.

(The writer is in Qatar at the invitation of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy)

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