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Australia vs Peru

FIFA World Cup - 2022 Qualifiers - AFC–CONMEBOL - Play Off
Australia vs Peru
at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Doha on 2022-06-13T18:00:00
Score: 0-0 (0-0); ET: 0-0 (0-0); Penalties: 5-4
Scorers: Aaron Mooy (122'), Craig Goodwin (125'), Ajdin Hrustic (126'), Jamie Maclaren (128'), Awer Mabil (131')
Official Info: Socceroos
Previous Match: U.A.E. vs Australia

The Socceroos won through to their fifth consecutive World Cup Finals on the back of a terrific performance.

The odds were really stacked against us. Our 20th qualifier, 16 of which, including this one, were played away from home. COVID. A severe drop in form towards the end of our campaign. Key players absent. And an opponent ranked well above us. And somehow, we pulled it off.

Overall I thought the Socceroos played very well. It's hard to summarise such a tense match, however I think it's fair to say the Socceroos had the better of the 90 minutes of normal time and Peru had the better of the 30 minutes of extra time. But it mattered little as neither side could find the back of the net.

Much has been made of the substitution of Andrew Redmayne for Mat Ryan just before the end of extra time. Given that Redmayne made a crucial save in the last play of the match it looks like a master-stroke. I'm not sure it's quite that, however maybe it was just enough to give us the edge in the shootout. Or maybe it was Redmayne finding the Peruvian goalkeeper's cheat-notes on our penalty takers and tossing them into the crowd. Interestingly, no-one said anything about Craig Goodwin coming on at the same time and scoring his penalty.

Most relieved man would have to be Martin Boyle who, after we were fortunate enough to go first in the shootout, missed his penalty. Second most relieved man would be Graham Arnold - the look on his face was priceless and demonstrated the toll qualification has taken on him.

I have to say I had my doubts we'd make it through and I'm delighted to have been proven wrong.