Peru secured the 32nd and final place at next year’s World Cup in Russia by defeating New Zealand 2-0 in their 2nd leg play-off match in Lima on Wednesday evening. This followed a 0-0 draw in Wellington in the 1st leg on Saturday afternoon.
There were wild scenes of celebration both inside the 50,000-capacity national stadium and across the country by the patriotic Peruvian fans who saw their country qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1982. Having waited 36 years, the scale of the celebrations when Peru scored their first goal was so immense that it triggered earthquake early warning systems across the capital Lima!
The party continued well into the night after the match as thousands of Peruvians took to the streets to express their joy and to be part of this historic moment. It was amazing to see thousands of cars packed full with families including grandparents, husbands, wives and young children all hanging out of sun-roofs and windows wearing the red and white Peru colours and waving flags as they drove around the capital well after midnight. None of them needed to worry about getting up early the next day for work or school as the Government declared the following day a National Holiday – a true sign of the signficance of this achievement to the country!
2018 World Cup