Australia beats Peru, Costa Rica soon to take on New Zealand
Australia has been crowned the victor and will officially be participating in the 2022 FIFA World Cup after beating Peru 1-0 in the sixth round of penalty kicks on Monday afternoon during the final World Cup qualifier.
The club will play alongside the rest of Group D, including France, Denmark and Tunisia, in just 161 days.
This match was more than just a game for the Peruvians and Australians. Despite it being an inter-continental playoff, this battle felt more like the World Cup itself. After all, the primary goal for both clubs was simply to qualify for the opportunity to compete in November.
What happened during Monday’s match between Peru and Australia?
This match was definitely more than a physical game. Players had to have mental stamina to get through the pressure of this do-or-die World Cup qualifier.
After two full halves, three minutes of stoppage time, a full 30 minutes of extra time and one round of five penalty kicks, there was still a stalemate. But the sixth round of penalty kicks finally sealed the win for Australia thanks to a goal by Awer Mabil and a save by goalie Andrew Redmayne after Peru’s sixth kick.
The Peruvians were favored from the start, having qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals five times, the last time being in 2018. But Australia showed up to play. The game was head-to-head for a majority of the first half, both team’s defensive lines prohibiting any goal opportunities.
Over the first 45 minutes of play, nerves proved to be high and the teams remained tight. Peru instilled some pressure late into the first half as Australia started to make it closer to the goal, yet still no success for either side.
At the half, nothing was yet decided as to who will be coming back to Qatar for the World Cup in November.
During the second half, Australia’s Martin Boyle had a few close attempts. Peru’s rushes toward goal were completely shut out by goalie Matthew Ryan. Australia, which struggled defensively throughout their qualifying campaign, was not budging.
Peru goalie Pedro Gallese showed up to battle. After three straight beams to goal by Australia, Gallese kept his side of the field clean and clear. After 90 minutes of a stalemate, the inter-continental playoff entered into extra time with still no score.
There was still no score on the board after the first half of stoppage time. At this point, both clubs were just trying to score to avoid the ominous PK shootout component of the competition.
Both Peru and Australia had a taste in their mouth of what it’s like to compete in a World Cup, both having been in the 2018 competition, and that undoubtedly came across in the final minutes of stoppage time and throughout each penalty kick.
What were the qualifying campaigns like for Peru and Australia?
This is the second straight time that Peru’s World Cup qualification potential is determined by an inter-continental playoff, and this year, it was highly favored. The strong South American squad had their hopes in Ricardo Gareca, one of the most favored football managers in Latin America.
A 2-0 loss to Japan set the stage for a difficult qualifying campaign for Australia, which hoped to snag an automatic place in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. However, Australia edged the United Arab Emirates 2-1 on Tuesday to reach the inter-contential playoff.
When is the final World Cup qualifier for Qatar?
The final World Cup qualifier for Qatar will take place on Tuesday, June 14, between Costa Rica and New Zealand. The match will begin at 2 p.m. ET at Al Rayyan Stadium just outside Doha, Qatar.
What were the qualifying campaigns like for Costa Rica and New Zealand?
Costa Ricans are considered to be a bit more of the “regulars” to the World Cup scene, qualifying for five FIFA World Cup finals (1990, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2018). After a challenging World Cup qualifying campaign left them fourth in the CONCACAF group, the Ticos came back to win seven of their last nine games, largely due to defensive strategy.
New Zealand won first place in Oceania’s part of the World Cup qualifiers, but this wasn’t exactly impressive considering the Kiwis couldn’t score a goal in their last two games, losing to Peru 1-0 and tying against Oman 0-0.
How to Watch the final 2022 World Cup qualifier
The match is not currently scheduled on UK television and Channel 10 will be showcasing the match free on Australian television.
In the U.S., you can watch the match on Fox Sports or Universo (Spanish), and streaming is available on FuboTV.