Coach Graham Arnold’s masterstroke of bringing Andrew Redmayne on purely for the penalty shootout paid off, with the Sydney FC goalkeeper producing a decisive save when the stakes were highest.
Given the score at the end of 120 minutes was 0-0, big moments were few and far between, but Australia came out on top in the crucial seconds.
The Socceroos celebrate after booking a spot in the World Cup, to be held later this year in Qatar
Here are the top five moments that sealed World Cup qualification for Australia:
1. Australia nearly steals win with two minutes left
Hands went over eyes and exasperated sighs rang out as Ajdin Hrustic looked destined to give Australia the lead in the 88th minute.
Socceroo Ajdin Hrustic shows his emotion after a shot was stopped in the 88th minute
A brilliant through-ball by winger Aziz Behich found a flying Awer Mabil, who found Hrustic at the top of the box.
Hrustic’s strike towards the bottom right of the net looked almost certain to go in before a desperate dive from Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese managed to drag the ball back in.
2. Flores hits the post for Peru in extra time
In perhaps the best chance of the game, Peru’s attacking midfielder Edison Flores rattled the post with a towering header 18 minutes into extra time.
Peru’s Edison Flores (left) competes with Australia’s Jackson Irvine (right) during the game
A superbly-weighted cross at the back post set Flores up perfectly- he rose above Behich and struck his header past the outstretched Mat Ryan.
The post was rattled, the ball stayed out and the game remained locked at 0-0.
3. Redmayne subbed on in the 120th minute
In a decision that will go down in Australian sporting folklore, Arnold called on his penalty specialist, Redmayne, to save the Socceroos’ bacon.
Andrew Redmayne (left) replaces Mat Ryan (right) before going on to make Australian history
Redmayne has a strong history as a penalty-stopper in the A-League, highlighted by two incredible saves in Sydney FC’s 2019 grand final victory.
That being said, he certainly lacks the international experience Mat Ryan has – so there was considerable uncertainty that Arnold’s gamble would pay off.
4. Martin Boyle misses first penalty
It all comes down to this. 120 minutes played, and penalties to decide whether it will be Peru or Australia going to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Martin Boyle’s penalty is stopped by Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese
Striker Martin Boyle, who in fact plays in Saudi Arabia with Al-Faisley, stepped up to take the crucial first penalty of the shoot-out.
Boyle goes left, Gallese goes left AND THE SHOT IS STOPPED!
The first penalty quite often dictates the tone and Gallese’s acrobatic save certainly gave Peru a valuable momentum boost leading into the remaining shots.
5. ‘Grey Wiggle’ stops a penalty, sending Australia to the World Cup
Redmayne sent social media into meltdown with his goalkeeping antics, as he literally danced his way into Australian hearts.
Andrew Redmayne’s save sends Australia through to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar later this year
The 194cm goalkeeper’s Wiggle-inspired moves as he attempted to distract Peru’s penalty-takers from behind the goal line were ultimately successful, causing Luis Advincula to hit the post.
It all came down to this.
Up steps Redmayne, with Alex Valera looking to win the game for Peru. Valera strikes powerfully to the left … and REDMAYNE SAVES IT! AUSTRALIA ARE OFF TO THE WORLD CUP!
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold pulled of an all-time great sporting moment for Australia
Andrew Redmayne reacts after sending the Socceroos into the 2022 World Cup
It was an incredible win for Australia, who managed to win against all odds and secure World Cup qualification.
Australia will go up against France, Denmark and Tunisia in Group D. They’ll take on France on November 23 to open up their Cup campaign.