The Socceroos are off to the Qatar World Cup after defeating Peru in a penalty shootout on Tuesday morning Australia time.
Substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne was the hero, making the winning save as Australia won the shootout 5-4 after the match finished 0-0 after extra-time.
Australia will now face Denmark, France and Tunisia at November’s World Cup in Qatar.
Australia emulated their 2005 heroics against Uruguay and won the shootout, qualifying for a fifth-straight World Cup.
During the match, Peruvian substitute Edison Flores went closest to breaking the deadlock for either team with a header which hit the post in the second half of extra-time but the match finished 0-0 after 120 minutes.
Australia coach Graham Arnold gambled by bringing on Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne for the shootout, replacing captain Mat Ryan just before fulltime.
Redmayne saved Peru’s sixth penalty as Australia won the shootout 5-4 to qualify for November’s tournament.
After 120 goalless minutes, Aaron Mooy, Craig Goodwin, Ajdin Hrustic, Jamie Maclaren and Awer Mabil all scored from the spot to make up for Martin Boyle’s miss before Redmayne denied Peru’s Alex Valera to spark joyous celebrations at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
The victory is also a triumph for Socceroos coach Graham Arnold, who will now lead the country to a World Cup finals after fighting to save his job when he missed out on automatic qualification in March.
His decision to bring on Redmayne in place of Ryan just before fulltime will go down as a master-stroke with the Sydney FC goalkeeper joining Mark Schwarzer and John Aloisi as a World Cup penalty shootout hero.
Australia win after an arm wrestle
Earlier, Australia made the early running in a stadium dominated by Peruvian fans, with Mitch Duke flashing a couple of early efforts past the goal.
Nathaniel Atkinson gave Australia an early headache when he was booked in just the 12th minute for pulling back Peru star Christian Cueva.
The most dangerous moments for the Socceroos in the opening term came via Scottish-born winger Boyle.
In the 20th minute, Boyle surged past two defenders into the box but his driven cross was just too far in front of Duke for the striker to make any contact.
Boyle was key again when the Socceroos had a penalty shout in the 32nd minute.
Crowded by three Peruvian defenders, Boyle was cut down on the edge of the area but replays showed the South Americans had won the ball cleanly and play continued.
Peru grew into the half but also failed to get an effort on target in the opening 45, with Andre Carrillo and Luis Advincula in particular combining dangerously on the right.
Both teams kept scrapping for the upper hand in the second-half with Peru carving out the clearer opportunities.
Carillo forced Ryan to palm away a floated cross at full stretch in the 63rd minute before Cueva lashed a shot into the side-netting just minutes later.
The first shot on target for either team came via Hrustic in the 81st minute but his long-range free-kick was easily claimed by Peru captain Pedro Gallese.
Four minutes later, Aziz Behich just failed to bend a skidding effort on target after the left-back picked up a loose ball and beat two Peruvians before having a shot from outside the box.
Hrustic nearly stole the win for Australia in the 88th minute when he was found by substitute Mabil’s cutback but Gallese just managed to keep the midfielder’s shot from squirming in.
Flores had Peru’s first shot on target in the game in the first period of extra-time but his effort from outside the box was straight at Ryan, who comfortably saved.
Cueva then had a great chance to put the South Americans ahead at the start of the second period of extra-time but blazed wide after being set up by the dangerous Flores.
Flores then hit the post with a header after getting the jump on Behich at the backpost in the closest moment for either team.
Arnold then turned to Redmayne moments before the final whistle, in a decision which will now go down in Australian sporting folklore.