A delighted Craig Foster praised Graham Arnold’s tactical gambling for replacing goalkeeper Andrew Redmine for a penalty shootout victory over Peru, with a place at the FIFA World Cup.
After a thrilling 120-minute football with some opportunities for both teams, the coach chose to bring his former No. 1 to Sydney FC for a spot kick – recalling captain and first-choice keeper Matt Ryan.
Peru’s third spot kick hit the post, while Redmine saved their sixth – which sent Australia into the World Cup.
Read more: The legendary Storm has defended the controversial work of the gun
Read more: Raw account of the tennis icon in the battle of mental health
Read more: Honey warned the heavyweights about the ‘Dark Arts’
“The decision to bring in Graham Arnold and his coaching staff Andrew Redmine was very, very bold – you’re replacing Matty Ryan here!” Foster said today.
“It’s very brave.”
This was Redmine’s third appearance for the national team – and he did it most well.
“To go into this situation and do it so brilliantly, so calm, all his theatrics … what a great response,” Foster said.
The Socceroos were more dominant on both sides, and the only one who had a chance to win the game in control with some late chances – although Peru woke up a little in extra time, hit late in the post.
“Australia was better, totally worthy of going through it,” Foster said.
“They stopped the game in Peru, they are a very good team who finished fourth in last year’s Copa America – it’s a really great performance.”
Australia will now advance properly to the tournament in November, where they will face France, Denmark and Tunisia.
Australia qualifies for World Cup after thriller qualifiers
The first two of these opponents were in the Australian group four years ago – where Les Blues stole a win late, while Sucrose played a tough draw with the Danes.
“It’s a very good move to get there again – we have to get there and learn,” Foster said.
“This is our fifth in a row, and what’s important is that every time, we try to get past.”
Although the tournament is excellent, Australia have not won a match in any of their last two tournaments. Their last win came in 2010 against Serbia.
“Last couple, we didn’t do that, and last couple, we really struggled to even take this step to get there,” Foster said.
“Although this morning is great, there are still a lot of questions around Australian football that we need to ask; what will the future hold, how should we go there to try to get past or at least go to the rounds?
“How can we replicate this? How can we learn to improve, grow and one day lift this powerful cup, both men and women, I can tell.”
Foster noted that next year was a glorious opportunity to continue the game, with the men’s team now punching their tickets in Qatar and the women hosting the 2023 tournament.
“Spending seven months with the Sucrose to play and then Matildas is only really strong enough to play in the middle of next year.”
To get the best breaking news and daily dose of exclusive content from the Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter Click here!