FIFA World Cup play-off 2nd leg: Peru 2-0 New Zealand | Peru wins 2-0 on aggregate
Peru ended its 36-year wait for a FIFA World Cup berth after overcoming New Zealand 2-0 in Thursday's (AEDT) inter-confederation play-off.
⏱ #WCQ RESULT: @SeleccionPeru 2-0 @NZ_Football | They’ve done it!! A first @FIFAWorldCup in 36 years for Peru. Hard luck #AllWhites. You did your absolute best 👏🏻 LIVE analysis on beIN 1 and CONNECT https://t.co/KYsvpfDmKK #PERvNZL pic.twitter.com/yI5DwkdQWM— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_AUS) November 16, 2017
The play-off tie between the fifth-placed CONMEBOL nation and the Oceania champion was evenly poised after Saturday's goalless draw in Wellington.
However, Peru proved too strong in front of a sea of red at Estadio Nacional thanks to veteran forward Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos, becoming the 32nd and final country to book its ticket to Russia 2018.
Here are your final 32 @FIFAWorldCup qualifiers! Congratulations to them all!! Anyone want to pick a winner? 😉 See you in #Russia2018 🎉👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 🎉LIVE on beIN 1 and CONNECT https://t.co/gAxqaHylo8 #WCQ pic.twitter.com/Xz16pwVgpi— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_AUS) November 16, 2017
Farfan set the tone in the 28th minute, his 23rd international strike, unleashing an unstoppable volley straight through All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.
Peru sealed its return to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1982 when centre-back Christian Ramos bundled the ball home just past the hour-mark from a corner, granting the population a national holiday as promised by the government.
With all-time leading scorer Paolo Guerrero already missing through suspension after a positive drugs test, Peru made three changes to its line-up. Andre Carrillo, Yoshimar Yotun and Aldo Corzo dropped out for Andy Polo, Raul Ruidiaz and Luis Advincula.
All Whites head coach Anthony Hudson made two changes, one enforced with veteran Andrew Durante replacing injured defender Tommy Smith, while playmaker Marco Rojas moved to the bench for former Marseille midfielder Bill Tuiloma. There was no room for talismanic Burnley star Chris Wood, who was among the substitutes in the first leg amid fitness concerns.
Played in front of a deafening atmosphere in Lima, Peru stormed out of the blocks and controlled proceedings from the outset.
Advincula almost opened the scoring in the third minute, cutting inside from the right-hand side and rattling the crossbar with a ferocious long-range effort.
The game continued to be played in New Zealand's half as the visitors channelled their rugby union counterparts, world champions the All Blacks, with a spirited rearguard effort, but the All Whites eventually succumbed to Peru's pressure approaching the half-hour mark.
Christian Cueva created space to beat New Zealand captain Winston Reid, fortunate to survive a penalty shout for an apparent handball earlier in the match, before squaring the ball to Farfan, who took a touch and volleyed powerfully into the roof of the net sparking wild celebrations.
It could have been 2-0 at half-time after Marinovic fumbled a Miguel Trauco shot but he recovered and managed to juggle the ball away from Farfan.
With no option but to push numbers forward, Hudson turned to Wood and Burnley's record signing made an impact, forcing Peru back for the first time in the match.
Any hopes the Kiwis had of progressing were dashed in the 65th minute, however, when Ramos made his way up for a corner and netted Peru's second goal after New Zealand failed to clear its lines as Ricardo Gareca's men celebrated wildly on the sidelines.