Following a 0-0 stalemate after extra time in an inter-continental playoff on Monday, Australia’s dancing replacement goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne saved the final penalty to claim a spot in this year’s World Cup in Qatar. At the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Redmayne danced over the goal line before diving to the right to block a kick from Alex Valera and give Australia a deserved victory. Redmayne was brought in three minutes before the ending of the game for the tiebreaker, and his antics on the field made him an instant hero as he tried to distract the opposing kicker. In a nod to Liverpool’s Bruce Grobbelaar’s clowning antics after they won the European Cup in 1984, he danced up and down, wriggling his hips and swinging his arms.
It was enough for Luis Advincula’s shot to hit the post, and then for Valera’s effort to be saved, as Australia qualified for their fifth World Cup in a row and their sixth overall. They will compete in World Cup Group D against holders France, Denmark, and Tunisia. The finals will take place from Nov. 21 to Dec. 1. Australia had missed their first penalty but converted the following five to quiet the hundreds of Peruvian fans who had traveled for the game and given raucous support but watched their team miss a few chances. A stoic Australia dominated the opening stages, with winger Martin Boyle cutting through the Peruvian defense twice to offer enticing crosses. The second half followed the same trend.