After the deadlock between the two sides couldn’t be broken during extra time, it all came down to the drama of a penalty shoot-out.
In a pre-planned move, Graham Arnold chose to replace first-choice goalkeeper Mathew Ryan with his much taller and more imposing back-up Andrew Redmayne.
It was just the 34-year-old’s fourth appearance for his country and by far the most significant as he helped secure qualification for the World Cup.
Martin Boyle missed with Australia’s first attempt, giving Peru the early advantage, but Redmayne was able to rescue the situation.
Seeking to distract the opposition with his antics on the line, he did enough to put off Luis Advincula, who struck the post.
Heading into sudden death it was the South Americans who blinked first, Redmayne denying substitute Alex Valera to spark wild celebrations.
He became a cult hero at home and abroad for his unexpected role in ensuring that Australia would compete at their fifth consecutive World Cup.
The Socceroos have been eliminated in the group stage of the last three, but they did make it through to the second round alongside Brazil in 2006.
Australia no longer have renowned penalty specialist Mile Jedinak to call on after he retired from playing two years ago, but Jamie Maclaren has demonstrated composure from the spot.
The striker has scored 17 out of his 20 attempts for Melbourne City and he has twice been successful at international level too, the latest coming against Oman in February.
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