The Australian national team this evening booked their spot at the 2022 World Cup, with one member of the country’s squad having since taken his place front and centre in the post-match headlines.
The Socceroos marked their return to action a short time ago.
After navigating their way beyond the United Arab Emirates in the 4th round of qualification, Graham Arnold’s troops were faced with one final test in their bid to advance to November’s Qatar showpiece, in the form of a playoff showdown with Peru.
A tense 90 minutes, and ensuing 30 minutes of extra time subsequently followed, with neither nation able to find an all-important opener.
Proceedings, in turn, were sent to a penalty shootout.
Penalties it is. 🙈
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) June 13, 2022
And, as alluded to above, one man and one man only subsequently proved both the hero, and villain of the spot-kick contest.
The player in question? Andrew Redmayne.
With a full 119 minutes on the clock at the Al Rayyan Stadium, and penalties looming, Australia boss Arnold opted to take action, hooking first-choice shot-stopper Maty Ryan, and replacing him with the aforementioned Redmayne.
And the latter took little time in showcasing precisely why, making use of some altogether questionable techniques to put the opposing Peruvian players off in their attempts to find the net.
On each and every occasion, the 33-year-old was warned regarding his antics, and yet Redmayne continued to bounce around on his line, flailing his arms wildly.
And, in the end, it would be hard to argue that the unorthodox behaviour of Australia’s no.2 served its purpose.
After seeing one Peru penalty strike the post, Redmayne came up trumps at the last, saving Alex Valera’s deciding strike to ensure that the Socceroos will take their place amongst the 32 nations set to vie it out for the 2022 World Cup.
Goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne… Came off the bench for Australia in the final minute of extra time just for penalty shoot-out… He did this dance on the line every time… And for the critical penalty kick it worked! pic.twitter.com/hUb2g9Mevd
— Simon Sandiford (@SimonUpNorth) June 13, 2022