Gulf Update Australia break Peru hearts to secure Qatar 2022 birth TOU

Gulf Update Australia break Peru hearts to secure Qatar 2022 birth
 TOU

Gulf Update Australia break Peru hearts to secure Qatar 2022 birth

Australia beat Peru in a sudden death penalty shootout on Monday to secure the penultimate free place at the 2022 World Cup finals.
The playoff between the Asian and South American qualifiers had been goalless after 120 minutes and was only decided when Peru’s Alex Valera missed his side’s sixth penalty, giving Australia a 5-4 win at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan.
The winners, 42nd in the world rankings, claimed their sixth ticket to the World Cup finals and a Group D opening match against defending champions France on November 22.
Peru, 22nd in FIFA’s list and who beat Australia 2-0 at the 2018 World Cup group stage, were roared on by 10,000 fans, most of whom had flown halfway round the globe for the playoff only to see a frustrating encounter between the rivals.
Australia’s Martin Boyle missed his side’s first penalty but all were then successful.
Australia’s substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne danced on the goal line in a bid to upset the Peru players and Luis Advincula’s shot cannoned off a post while Valera’s miss set off wild celebrations among the Socceroos and their band of a few hundred supporters. Australia started brightly with Mitchell Duke taking possession of a loose ball on the edge of the Peruvian area and rifling an effort that whizzed just wide off the upright inside the opening three minutes.
Peru responded a minute later as Al Hilal SFC winger Andre Carrillo advanced down the right and whipped a cross for Gianluca Lapadula who headed it high.
Play centered around the middle of the park for extended spells of the first half with Jackson Irvine missing the target twice with headers, first from Aaron Mooy’s out-swinging corner then following some fine footwork and cross from Martin Boyle on the right.
Peru had the first big chance of the second half as Saudi Arabia based winger Christian Cueva moved into space on the left flank and attempted a shot with his left, but with the angle narrowing, he struck the outside of the netting instead.
Head coach Graham Arnold looked to inject more pace and width into the Australian attack, bringing on Awer Mabil to replace Mitchell Duke midway through the second half.
The Socceroos’ closest effort of the half yet came from a free-kick after Boyle was fouled 30 yards from the Peruvian goal and Ajdin Hrustic looked to bend one into the back of the net but was denied by goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Five minutes from time, left-back Aziz Behich came within a whisker of scoring a wonder goal as he embarked on a 40-yard slaloming run from the flank, before cutting inside on his right and curling a shot that passed agonisingly close on the wrong side of the upright.
The Socceroos pushed higher as the game wore on and Hrustic was again so close to settling the tie after Mabil showed incredible desire and pace to chase a long ball down the left and feed the Eintracht Frankfurt attacking midfielder whose side-footed shot was caught by Gallese at the bottom corner as the 90 minutes ended goalless.
A left-footed Edison Flores effort from 20 yards out that was caught confidently by Mat Ryan was the highlight of an otherwise cagey first 15 minutes of extra time with Australia remaining compact throughout.
Peru had back-to-back chances to open the scoring straight after resumption of play first with Cueva missing the target from close range then moments later with a Flores header that beat Ryan but ricocheted off the post. With the clock ticking towards 120 minutes, coach Arnold opted to bring on goalkeeper Redmayne for Ryan for the penalty shootout.
The Socceroos join hosts Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia, Japan, Iran and South Korea in the Finals for the biggest ever AFC contingent on the global stage. They will be placed in Group D alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia.

Last updated: June 14 2022 01:11 AM

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