Australia have qualified for their fifth World Cup in a row after a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Peru in the intercontinental play-off decider.
Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne replaced Brighton’s Mathew Ryan in the 121st minute and proved to be the unlikely hero for the Socceroos.
Redmayne danced frantically across his goal-line for every penalty, waving his arms up and down, and eventually the tactic paid off as he saved Alex Valera’s spot-kick to seal Australia’s place at the Qatar World Cup.
“I’m no hero. I just played my role like everyone else did tonight,” Redmayne, who was making just his third Australia cap, said after the match.
“Not even the 11 on the pitch, it was much more than that, it is a team effort.
“I can’t thank the team enough, the staff enough. You know, I’m not going to take credit. The boys ran out 120 minutes, and it not only takes 11 on the field but the boys on the bench, the boys in the stands.”
Nothing could separate the two sides after 90 minutes in stifling hot conditions inside Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Qatar with Australia having two shots on target and Peru failing to test Ryan.
Ajdin Hrustic came closest to scoring for either side in a cagey match in the 82nd minute, but his shot was well saved by Pedro Callese who got behind his low curling strike which looked destined for the bottom corner.
The game went to extra-time and Peru came closest in the 106th minute as Edison Flores’ header struck the post.
In the 121st minute of added time, Ryan was substituted for Redmayne who was primed and ready for the shoot-out.
Martin Boyle stepped up first for Australia, but his penalty was well saved by Gallese. Peru’s advantage lasted until their third penalty when Luis Advincula’s spot-kick struck the post.
Redmayne continued to dance across his goal-line to try and put off his opponent, even bobbing up and down and spinning around, and it paid off.
With Australia leading the shoot-out 5-4, Redmayne dived down low to parry away Varela’s kick and book Australia’s place in Group D alongside France, Tunisia and Denmark.