In the final qualifying play off for next summer’s World cup in Russia, Peru stormed to a 2-0 win over New Zealand to take the remaining spot.
Played in front of a sea of red and white flags, with brass bands and drums echoing around the stadium causing an atmosphere the 50 or so New Zealand fans could do little if anything to change.
Following a goalless draw in last Saturdays first leg, it was Jefferson Farfan who broke the deadlock with a goal just before the half hour mark, his thunderous shot beating Marinovic in the Kiwi goal. The Peru striker then continued to celebrate by covering his head with the shirt of suspended team mate Paolo Guerrero who failed a drugs test only a few months ago.
In the second half, Christian Ramos was on hand to double the home teams lead as they looked to qualify for the first time since 1982. Although Peru dominated the match in both territory and possession New Zealand’s best chance came to striker Chris Wood who’s shot in the final minutes would have only been a consolation, but unfortunately for him it fell wide of the post despite beating the keeper.
Peru are currently ranked 10th in FIFA’s world rankings and the countries passion for the game was shown with the celebrations hitting the streets and parties going on well into the night with local law enforcement using their sirens to join in with the ‘Cacophony’ of car horns in the street.
Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski had openly promised a public holiday is his country qualified for the first time in over 35 years, a statement his people will hold him to as they continue to celebrate!