Cup Berth rekindles Peru coach's dream

Cup Berth rekindles Peru coach's dream

After coaching a slew of South American clubs, Gareca was hired as Peru coach in 2015 with the express task of taking a national side that contained plenty of talent but few big names back to the Finals for the first time since 1982.

The teams played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Wellington on Saturday and although both sides had chances in a tense match in Lima, Peru were more clinical in front of goal.

Coach Ricardo Gareca guided Peru to a long-awaited World Cup yesterday morning (Singapore time) and, in doing so, moved a step closer to fulfilling his own dream of gracing football's greatest tournament.

Defender Christian Ramos made it 2-0 in the 64th minute after a mistake from New Zealand's defense. Guerrero scored six goals for Peru in South American qualifiers.

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It is the first time in 36 years that Peru has qualified for a World Cup tournament, with next year's event being held in Russian Federation.

When the final whistle blew in Lima, the pure elation and tears of joy from all Peruvians on the field and in the stands showed exactly what qualifying for the World Cup means to the country.

Midfielder Christian Cueva, who assisted Farfan in the first goal and took the corner kick that led to the second one, said Peru deserves the holiday promised by President Pedro Paulo Kuczynski. "Let's celebrate with responsibility", he said.

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