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Field set for 2018 FIFA World Cup

Field set for 2018 FIFA World Cup

Peru coach Ricardo Gareca dedicated the nation's World Cup berth to the fans after Wednesday's play-off triumph over New Zealand. Italy is the only former world champion who didn't qualify. "It wouldn't have mattered who scored".

Peru's qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will strengthen its country brand, given the worldwide popularity of this sporting event, thus attracting further investment from overseas, Chilean consulting company Hexagon Group said.

"It makes me happy also because Argentina will be in the World Cup", he said.

Peru's government decreed a national holiday after the historical qualification, with Thursday guaranteed to be full of celebrations throughout the country.

At 28 minutes, striker Jefferson Farfan opened the 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.

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The decision sparked a run of form that lifted Peru to fifth place in the South American qualifying table, guaranteeing them a play-off spot against the Kiwis.

"I dedicate this to Paolo, I promised him we would deliver", Farfan said. Last week's first leg in Wellington finished goalless.

That forced the Australians into an Asian playoff against Syria, which veteran Tim Cahill sealed with two goals in Sydney last month to set Australia up for the last-ditch home-and-away series against Honduras.

He led Peru to the semi-finals of the 2015 Copa America but they struggled in the early World Cup qualifiers, winning just one of their first six fixtures.

"We have managed something very important for the country".


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