Australia has reached the World Cup finals for the sixth time. Two German Legionnaires led by Eintracht Frankfurt’s Ajdin Hrustic and FC St. Paul’s Jackson Irvine defeated South America fifth-placed Peru 5-4 on penalties at the World Cup Stadium in Ar-Rayyan on Monday evening. It was 0-0 after playing time and extra time. Substitute keeper Andrew Redmayne, who came on for captain Matthew Ryan in the 120th minute, was the hero – saving two penalties with an unorthodox tackle.
The 32nd and final spot will be up for grabs this Tuesday when New Zealand and Costa Rica meet at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Ar-Rayyan. The winner of this game goes in Group E with Germany, Spain and Japan.
In a playoff between two continents in one of the World Cup stadiums, chances were slim at first. Irvine’s two attempts to head the ball were the only attempts in the first half. Australia qualified for Tuesday’s decider last week and were under pressure in the second half against Peru. Christian Cueva hit the side netting just over an hour before the Australians missed out on the lead just before the end of regular time through Aziz Behich and Hrustic. It went into overtime. It also ended goalless, with Peru’s Edison Flores scoring with a huge chance.
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