AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Australia qualified for a fifth straight World Cup after a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Peru in their intercontinental playoff on Monday.
The teams failed to score in regulation and extra time at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, and goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, sent on as a substitute in the dying seconds of extra time, proved to be the star for Australia by saving the last penalty from Alex Valera.
“I’m not going to take credit for this,” Redmayne said. “The boys ran out there for 120 minutes. It’s a team effort. I’m not a hero. I just played my role like everyone else did tonight.”
Australia finished regulation as the only team creating chances. Ajdin Hrustic, who scored the winning goal against the United Arab Emirates in the Asian playoff victory last week, had the first shot on target in the entire game after 82 minutes, and went close again shortly after.
Peru substitute Edison Flores headed against the foot of Australia’s post early in the second period of extra time but that was as close as both teams came to breaking the deadlock as the game drifted towards a shootout.
Redmayne, making only his third appearance for the national team and dancing along the goal-line, saved from Valera, and it was enough for the Socceroos to return to Qatar in November for their sixth overall World Cup appearance.
“This idea was floated pre-selection that this (shootout) might eventuate in these kinds of circumstances,” Redmayne said. “At the end of the day, it’s the flip of a coin. Either right or left.”
source: Sports Illustrated