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Australia take on Peru in World Cup qualifying final on Monday

Updated  

Jun-12 16:51 first published at 16:51 PM


On Monday, Australia will face Peru in a high-stakes inter-confederation playoff final at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Abu Dhabi. For the second time in a World Cup qualification season, Peru and Australia will play in a playoff, but only one team will advance.

It will be only the second meeting between the two teams, with Peru defeating Australia 2-0 in the 2018 World Cup group stage.

Peru, headed by Ricardo Gareca, has a well-oiled machine and will enter the tournament as favorites to make it to the finals for the second time in a row, while Australia faces missing out on the World Cup for the first time since 2006.

READ MORE: Who has qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

The Socceroos will rely on their recent experience in Qatar, having played three World Cup qualifiers there February 2021 and acclimatized to the conditions for well over two weeks. Peru, on the other hand, will play in Qatar for the first time.

“We’ve done an excellent job of planning. In Qatar, we’ve played four games (including a friendly). When opposed to a typical stadium, playing in an air-conditioned stadium is a completely different experience. It’s nothing new to our boys. “I regard Peru’s inexperience in these conditions as a benefit,” Australian coach Graham Arnold remarked.

Australia will have to be mindful of Peru’s technical players, especially Christian Cueva and Andre Carillo, and will have to wait for openings.

Arnold, who has been in charge since the 2018 World Cup exit, is optimistic about the future.

“All of our players are prepared. They know their jobs and I have a simple message for them: Go out and do it the ‘Aussie way’. Fight for 90 minutes and be physically demanding. “How much Australian football has developed technically will astonish the Peruvians,” he remarked.

ALSO READ | FIFA World Cup 2022 Draw: Group guide

Over 10,000 Peruvian fans are anticipated to attend the game to cheer on their country’s side. On the support, Peru coach Ricardo Gareca said, “Only a World Cup can bring up these feelings, what people are capable of doing, we experienced it closely in Russia, where Peruvians appeared from who knows where, the sacrifice that the people made, is an extraordinary moment, you have to live it.”

The winner will compete in the finals alongside France, Denmark, and Tunisia from Group C.

(The writer is in Qatar at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy’s request.)

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