Road to Qatar: how Australia qualified for World Cup 2022

We look at how the Socceroos sealed their place at the finals

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Australia became the penultimate team to qualify for World Cup 2022 after they defeated Peru in a penalty shoot-out in Qatar.

Victory in the inter-confederation play-off against the South Americans meant Australia maintained their record of reaching every World Cup finals since 2006.

However, it was a far from convincing performance in the AFC qualification process as the Socceroos finished third behind Japan and Saudi Arabia in the second stage and then narrowly defeated the UAE to reach the play-off final.

Australia manager Graham Arnold's decision to replace goalkeeper and captain Mat Ryan with Andrew Redmayne just before the shoot-out against Peru turned out to be an inspired one. The Sydney FC keeper saved Alex Valera's final kick to seal victory.

“He's a very good penalty saver and I did something that could affect them mentally,” said Arnold after the match. “They were probably asking themselves the question, 'Why is this guy being brought on, he has to be good'.

“Maybe that was the reason they hit the post. It's a one per cent mental effort to trouble the Peru penalty takers. It was a risk but it worked out.”

In Qatar, Australia were drawn in Group D alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia.

Australia's fixtures in Qatar

November 22 France v Australia – Al Janoub Stadium (11pm)

November 26 Tunisia v Australia – Al Janoub Stadium (2pm)

November 30 Australia v Denmark – Al Janoub Stadium (7pm)

Australia coach Graham Arnold celebrates after his team defeated Peru and qualified for the World Cup in Qatar. Reuters

Qualifying results

Second round (Group B)

September 10, 2019 Kuwait 0 Australia 3 (Leckie 7', 30', Mooy 38')

October 10, 2019 Australia 5 (Maclaren 6', 19', 90', Souttar 23', 59') Nepal 0

October 15, 2019 Chinese Taipei 1 (Chen Yi-wei 21') Australia 7 (Taggart 12', 19', Irvine 34', 37', Souttar 73', 89', Maclaren 84')

November 14, 2019 Jordan 0 Australia 1 (Taggart 13')

June 3, 2021 Australia 3 (Leckie 1', Irvine 24', Hrustic 66') Kuwait 0

June 7, 2021 Australia 5 (Souttar 12', Maclaren pen 27', Sainsbury 41', Duke 46', 84') Chinese Taipei 1 (Gao Wei-jie 62')

June 11, 2021 Nepal 0 Australia 3 (Leckie 6', Karacic 38', Boyle 57')

June 15, 2021 Australia 1 (Souttar 77') Jordan 0

Australia's Craig Goodwin and Awer Mabil celebrate after beating the UAE in their World Cup play-off qualifier. AFP

Third round (Group B)

September 2, 2021 Australia 3 (Mabil 24', Boyle 26', Duke 70') China 0

September 7, 2021 Vietnam 0 Australia 1 (Grant 43')

October 7, 2021 Australia 3 (Mabil 9', Boyle 49', Duke 89') Oman 1 (R. Al-Alawi) 28'

October 12, 2021 Japan 2 (Tanaka 8', Behich og 85') Australia 1 (Hrustic 70')

November 11, 2021 Australia 0 Saudi Arabia 0

November 16, 2021 China 1 (Wu Lei pen 71') Australia 1 (Duke 38')

January 27, 2022 Australia 4 (Maclaren 30', Rogic 45+2', Goodwin 72', McGree 76') Vietnam 0

February 1, 2022 Oman 2 (Fawaz 54', 89') Australia 2 (Maclaren pen 15', Mooy 79')

March 24, 2022 Australia 0 Japan 2 (Mitoma 89', 90+4')

March 29, 2022 Saudi Arabia 1 (Al-Dawsari pen 65' Australia 0

Fourth round

June 7, 2022 UAE 1 (Caio 57') Australia 2 (Irvine 53', Hrustic 84')

Inter-confederation play-off

June 13, 2021 Australia 0 Peru 0 (aet) Australia win 5-4 on penalties

Updated: September 24, 2022, 6:20 AM
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