The five things the Socceroos MUST do to beat Peru and avoid missing out on a trip to the World Cup for the first time in 20 years
- Socceroos face Peru in a must win intercontinental play-off game on June 14
- Winner will join France, Denmark and Tunisia in World Cup Group D in Qatar
- Kick-off is 4am (AEST), Australia looking to qualify for fifth successive World Cup
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
The sporting equation is simple for the Socceroos – beat Peru in Doha and qualify for a fifth successive World Cup, lose and the highly fancied South Americans will instead play in Qatar from November 21 onwards in Group D alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia.
Daily Mail Australia has broken down what needs to happen to ensure the Socceroos participate in the biggest sporting event on the planet.
Capitalise on immense pressure on Peru
Collective intent from the opening whistle at the Al Rayyan Stadium is crucial.
The Peruvians, ranked 22 in the FIFA world standings, are match-hardened following 18 games in the CONMEBOL qualification system versus the likes of Brazil and Argentina and will start the match as favourites.
Defeat for the squad dubbed ‘La Blanquirroja’ isn’t an option in the eyes of their fans, and as a result, Ricardo Gareca’s men may wilt under the immense pressure.
An early goal for the underdogs in green and gold would only increase their nerves.
Mat Ryan will don the captain’s armband versus Peru as the Socceroos look to qualify for a fifth successive World Cup
Ajdin Hrustic was the hero for the Socceroos after scoring the winner versus UAE on Wednesday
Shut down Peru superstar André Carrillo
The classy winger who plays his club football with Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia oozes quality.
Australian supporters may recall the 30-year-old scored when Peru outclassed the Socceroos 2-0 at the 2018 World Cup in Russia in the group stages.
Carillo is part of lethal front three which also includes Christian Cueva and Gianluca Lapadula.
Trent Sainsbury needs to play
Comfortably Australia’s best defender, the 30-year-old comes into the must-win encounter under an injury cloud.
Coach Graham Arnold will play Sainsbury – who is also his son-in-law – from the outset if he can prove his fitness.
With Inter Milan and Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven just some of the clubs he has played for across his stellar career, the Socceroos will be dealt a hammer blow if Sainsbury isn’t in their starting XI.
If he can prove his fitness, defender Trent Sainsbury (pictured right) will start against Peru
Andre Carrillo looms as the danger man for Peru ahead of the intercontinental play-off game versus the Socceroos
Be clinical in front of goal
Peru will look to dictate proceedings, and will more than likely have the lion’s share of chances and possession given their quality.
The likes of Ajdin Hrustic, Mat Leckie and Adam Taggart – from the bench – need to bring their goalscoring boots if Australia are to be a fighting chance.
Against the UAE, the tempo was slow which suited veteran midfielder Aaron Mooy down to the ground, but the intensity will lift significantly come Tuesday at 4am (AEST).
Call on their ‘Aussie DNA’
Arnold believes the Socceroos finally found their ‘Aussie DNA’ during Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking ahead of the intercontinental play-off, Arnold was elated to see his players heed the one message he has been hammering home at every opportunity.
‘That’s what I’ve been driving into the boys ever since we came into camp,’ Arnold said.
‘It’s about that Aussie DNA – to kick, fight, scratch and do whatever you need to do to win the game. And however we win it, who cares, just win it.’
Predicted Socceroos XI against Peru: Mat Ryan; Fran Karacic, Trent Sainsbury, Bailey Wright, Aziz Behich; Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine, Adjin Hrustic; Martin Boyle, Awer Mabil, Mat Leckie.
The Socceroos’ intercontinental play-off game against Peru will be broadcast live on Channel 10 on Tuesday, June 14 from 3.30am and streamed online via 10 Play and Paramount Plus.
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