As they did in 2005, Australia is fighting hard against South American opponents and in overtime.
The winner will receive one of the final two places at the FIFA World Cup, which starts in November, and the loser will be eliminated.
Despite their sudden death against Peru as an underdog in the qualifiers, Australia were the best team in the 90th minute, their opponents failing to collect a single shot on goal.
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Australia went ahead in the first half without any clear prospects, with Scottish-born winger Martin Boyle being the only player on both sides who looked dangerous in possession.
The only real point of discussion in the first half came when Boyle entered the penalty area, only to loosen the ball for a crunching tackle by Christopher Gonzalez – although Peruvian raised his stud and watched it go out of control.
Peru was a bit better after the break, but still offers very little.
The main appeal of knockout football is that everything is risky. The downside is that when both teams know this, you often have two parties who are playing to lose instead of winning.
This kg case proves perfectly – a long-range free kick from Azden Horstick 80 minutes later was the first shot that was aimed at both teams. Goalkeeper Pedro Galles easily saved it.
It animated Australia, first sending a dangerous cross into the Hour Mabil area, then Aziz Behich flashed a wide shot from 20 yards out.
Mabil’s injection in the match gave them some much needed thrust to the left and it was his cutback that hit the horoscope from the edge of the box, deflecting Jamie McLaren and saving only in a diving galley.
The play is not over yet – it looks like Jackson Irwin was pushed into the penalty area at stoppage time, only to be stopped by both the field referee and VAR.
In extra time we go.
More to come
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