Reserve goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne was the reluctant hero as Australia stunned Peru to secure a place in the World Cup for the fifth consecutive time with a massive 5-4 win on penalties in the intercontinental play-off in Qatar.
The Sydney FC goalkeeper, hired by coach Graham Arnold just before the end of extra time after 120 minutes goalless at Al Rayyan Stadium, dived deep to his right to thwart Alex Valera’s 12th free kick in the penalty shootout.
The defining moment of the game was the end of a long and winding road to the finals in Qatar for Australia, who, despite fluctuating early in the season, were able to secure their place in the tournament later that year in the most dramatic of circumstances.
“I wouldn’t be proud,” Redmayne told Channel 10 after he was in Qatar full time. “The guys ran 120 minutes and it took not only 11 minutes on the field, it took the guys on the bench, the guys in the stands. So are the boys who lost in their squad. It’s a team effort, a team game, so I can’t take more credit than any other person “.
Redmayne – whose signature penalty kick technique was to dance along the goal line and wave his arms, earning him the nickname “The Gray Wiggle” – replaced captain Matt Ryan in a move tailored to win the Peruvian side.
“This idea was a pre-screening that can happen in such circumstances, and during the two or three weeks we were here, this was just in my head,” Redmayne said. “I worked on a few things in training but in the end either on the right or the left the homework was done and I’m just thankful to the other guys for the 120 minute run.
“I’m not a hero. I played my role like everyone else tonight. Not even the 11th on the pitch, it was so much more, it’s a team effort.”
Arnold confirmed that the move was planned in advance but revealed that none of the other players – not even Ryan – were aware of it.
“he is [Ryan] “I didn’t know about it until his number went up,” Arnold said. “It was great. He understands why we do it together and why we are a Socceroo family, we are all a team, and everyone has a role to play. Of course, I think he was a bit surprised, but he coped very well, as a captain should.”
“I planned it a few weeks ago. It’s more about the mental side, the mental side. You’ve probably looked at Matty Ryan and what he’s doing on penalties beforehand. You’ve never seen Andrew Redmayne before. At the same time, when you replaced Andrew Redmayne, they might have wondered about the reason.
“The one who missed them and the one who hit the post probably made the penalty takers hit the ball harder or closer to the post knowing it was bigger than Matty. That’s why, that’s why I did it.”
The Australian team got off to the worst possible start in the penalty shootout when Martin Buell saw Pedro Galese save his first shot, but Australia leveled 2-2 when Louis Advinkula hit the post. Aaron Mooy, Craig Godwin, Agden Hrotik, Jimmy McClaren and Aware Mabile all scored to pave the way for the dramatic breakout.
“I am very proud of the players,” Arnold said. “No one knows what these guys went through to get here. It was so difficult, the entire campaign, and the way they stuck and fought for it is incredible.
“They’ve been through a lot, 20 World Cup qualifiers, 16 away from home, it was tough but we made it through.”
Arnold’s job was the subject of speculation amid a disastrous streak earlier this year that threatened to derail his team’s qualifying campaign, but after overseeing the win over Peru, who topped Australia 20 places via FIFA, the manager said: “The skeptics don’t. “. Bothers me “.
“We love to put our backs against the wall” and hinted at the “Australian spirit” that helped the team cross the streak, while teammate Billy Wright said the win would be “for generations”. the coming years.”
“Going to the World Cup is a huge thing,” Wright said. “No one should underestimate what we have achieved today for ourselves and for the whole country, because so much has worked for that day.
“It means a lot to future generations and looking for what’s at stake, it really is a dream come true.”
Hostic approached the Australian team in the organizational time with a shot that went wide of the goal before the final whistle, while Edison Flores hit a header sent by Ryan in the 109th minute.
The entire World Cup draw will end on Monday when Costa Rica and New Zealand collide for the last remaining place.