Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 on Wednesday night to win a two-leg intercontinental playoff and earn the 32nd and last berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The South American nation ended their 36 year wait to qualify for soccer's showpiece event.
The last time the Peruvians reached the World Cup was in 1982 in Spain. The Peruvian president lived upto his promise of giving the South American country a soccer-dedicated holiday on Thursday on the back of its World Cup qualification.
After a goalless draw in New Zealand on Saturday, a much more attacking Peru showed up at the Estadio Nacional. Despite the absence of their main striker Paolo Guerrero, who has been suspended by FIFA on doping suspicions, the Peruvians controlled the match from the start.
At 28 minutes, striker Jefferson Farfan helped Peru take the lead by scoring from the edge of the box burying the ball into the New Zealand net. In tears, the Lokomotiv Moscow forward showed the shirt of his boyhood friend Guerrero to the crowd.
Then at 65 minutes, defender Christian Ramos netted the second after a mistake from New Zealand's defense on a corner. Peru's qualification put the South American team in a World Cup pot with Spain, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Croatia.