Australia off to 5th straight World Cup after shootout win over Peru

Joe Allison / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Australia kicked off its World Cup qualifying campaign two years and nine months ago. It needed to power through a final 120 minutes - and a topsy-turvy penalty shootout - to finally book its place in Qatar.

The Socceroos reached a fifth straight World Cup on Monday with a 5-4 shootout win over Peru in the first of two intercontinental playoffs in Al Rayyan, Qatar. They're the 31st team to qualify for the tournament.

Australia will now face reigning World Cup champion France, Euro 2020 semifinalist Denmark, and Tunisia in Group D.

In a dramatic turn of events, little-known goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne came on in the 120th minute to make his third-ever appearance for Australia, taking over penalty-saving duties from Mathew Ryan. The 33-year-old danced along the goal line in the hopes of psyching out Peru's penalty takers, and after a couple of comical misses, his antics began to work. Luis Advincula hit the post with Peru's third attempt, and Redmayne palmed away Alex Valera's effort in sudden death to clinch the victory.

Peruvian shot-stopper Pedro Gallese could only save the first penalty of the shootout.

The match itself was cagey and uninspiring. The first shot on target came after 82 minutes, and regulation time ended goalless.

Australia will open its World Cup campaign against France on Nov. 22, then face Tunisia four days later. It'll finish off round-robin play against Denmark on Nov. 30.

Costa Rica and New Zealand will square off Tuesday in the other intercontinental playoff for the 32nd and final World Cup berth.

The Aussies took a circuitous route to Qatar. They won just one of their last seven regional qualifiers to finish a distant third in their group in the third round of Asian qualifying. Graham Arnold's side had to win a one-off match against the United Arab Emirates just to reach Monday's intercontinental playoff.

Australia also played 14 of its 19 qualifiers away from home because of the country's strict lockdown measures.

Australia off to 5th straight World Cup after shootout win over Peru
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