Peru complete World Cup finals lineup with play-off win over New Zealand

  • Peru 2-0 New Zealand (2-0 on aggregate)
  • Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos goals send South Americans to Russia
Peru became the last side to clinch their place at next year’s World Cup finals as goals from Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos gave them a 2-0 win over New Zealand in the second leg of their intercontinental play-off. Related: Mile Jedinak hat-trick against Honduras sends Australia to World Cup Continue reading...

Inherent volatility of football comes to Socceroos’ aid on final step to Russia | Ante Jukic

A moment of randomness changed the complexion of Australia’s must-win World Cup qualifier against Honduras Randomness is an inescapable reality that shapes football, and can at times render all tactical preparation and planning for an individual match entirely worthless. A seer for modern times, Nassim Taleb once wrote, “no matter how sophisticated our choices, how good we are at dominating the odds, randomness will always have the last word.” Continue reading...

Socceroos end mammoth qualifying campaign but work still to be done | Jonathan Howcroft

Victory over Honduras was very much job done but the mastermind behind it may not get to experience the fruits of his labour The minarets of Red Square are finally visible on the horizon after the longest, windiest qualifying road in World Cup history concluded in Sydney on Wednesday night. Bookended by goals from the boot of Mile Jedinak, it’s not been the prettiest 29 months of qualification football, but it has at least proved effective. Back in June 2015 Australia left Kyrgyzstan with a 2-1 victory, the first of 22 matches that have taken the Socceroos to all corners of Asia, around Australia, and finally across the Pacific and back. Much of this has been hard-going, for players, coaches and fans alike. Continue reading...

Ange Postecoglou decision on Socceroos’ future ‘won’t take too long’

  • Australia coach takes time to enjoy World Cup qualification
  • Socceroos book ticket to Russia with 3-1 win over Honduras
The Socceroos are going to next year’s World Cup, but the identity of the coach who will lead them there remains the subject of conjecture. With the Australians’ passage to Russia confirmed with a win over Honduras in the second leg of their intercontinental World Cup qualifier, Ange Postecoglou stuck to the well-trodden path of refusing to confirm whether he would continue on as manager, or end his tenure. Related: Mile Jedinak hat-trick against Honduras sends Australia to World Cup Continue reading...