The Peruvian national team reached a goal that three months ago looked almost impossible: clinching a spot in next year’s World Cup.
Peru Makes World Cup for First Time Since 1982
It happened at the Estadio Nacional in Lima, with La Blanquirroja winning 2-0 in an intercontinental playoff game against New Zealand and becoming the 32nd and final team to book its ticket to Russia.
Peru sees its dream come true after a difficult path in the CONMEBOL qualifiers.
After a scoreless first leg game, Jefferson Farfan netted the first goal in the 28th minute, with Christian Ramos adding another in the 62nd. Both scores resulted in pandemonium among the home fans.
Just three months ago, Peru found themselves sixth in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, and hoping desperately for points. Between now and then, Chile incredibly went down and this Peruvian team advanced one spot to fifth, good enough to get into the intercontinental playoff.
Peru seemed to be hurt after the suspension of its main striker Paolo Guerrero for doping. But the South Americans overcame that situation and now find themselves among the field of 32. It’s been nearly 40 years since Peru competed in World Cup matches, but that’s all bound to change beginning next June.
Peru’s government decreed a national holiday after the historical qualification, with Thursday guaranteed to be full of celebrations throughout the country.
These are the 32 teams qualified for the World Cup 2018
Host country: Russia
AFRICA: Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia
ASIA: Saudi Arabia, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Australia
EUROPE: Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, France, England, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Switzerland, Sweden
North America (CONCACAF): Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama
South America (CONMEBOL): Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru
The World Cup begins on June 14th of next year, with the championship match set to take place on July 15th. Italy is the only former world champion who didn’t qualify.
It will be the 21st FIFA World Cup and the first in a Eastern European country.