Peru becomes final team to qualify for 2018 World Cup

Jun 12, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Peru forward Raul Ruidiaz (11) celebrates with Peru midfielder Christian Cueva (10) after their 1-0 win over Brazil in the group play stage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario. at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Peru’s men’s national soccer team defeated New Zealand, 2-0, on Wednesday, to clinch the country’s first World Cup berth in 36 years. Peru won 2-0 on aggregate, scoring both goals in the second leg after having played the first leg on Friday.

Jefferson Farfan opened the scoring in the 28th minute, before Christian Ramos added the second goal in the 65th minute. By way of its victory, Peru becomes the final team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, which will be held in Russia and will begin June 14.

Peru has little history in the World Cup, having appeared on just four separate occasions. It made the quarterfinals just once, in 1970, when the games were held in Mexico, finishing in seventh place, the best the nation has placed in its history. The last time it qualified in 1982, it drew twice and lost, sending Peru home after Round 1.

World Cup qualification play began all the way back in March 2015. Peru was one of two nations to make it via the Inter-Confederation Playoffs, joining Australia, who qualified by defeating Honduras, 3-1, on aggregate.

Notable nations such as the United States and Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Three of the top four teams from the 2014 World Cup return for the next installment, leaving the Netherlands on the sidelines after it too failed to qualify.

After four straight attempts at qualification saw them finish with more losses than wins, Peru has snapped the streak and punched its ticket to the contest in Russia.

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