Aloisi says Peru paid price for poor playoff preparation

Socceroos legend John Aloisi predicts a brighter future for Australian football following the Socceroos effort to qualify for the World Cup.John Aloisi says he was more nervous watching the Socceroos’ penalty shootout against Peru than taking the decisive spot kick 17 years ago against Uruguay that sealed Australia a World Cup berth.Shootout memories came flooding back to Aloisi on Tuesday morning as he watched substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne save an Alex Valera penalty in neutral Qatar to secure the Socceroos a fifth successive World Cup appearance.“When you’ve got to no control over a situation you’re more nervous that when you can control it,” said Aloisi, who was initially “shocked” by Socceroos coach Graham Arnold’s decision to replace captain Mat Ryan with Redmayne.“But as a coach you’re there every day with them, you see who’s in form and ‘Arnie’ obviously knows that ‘Redders’ is good in penalty shootouts.“`Arnie’ went with his gut. It was a big call but it was the right one”Aloisi, who recently coached Western United to the A-League title, said World Cup qualification was “huge” for Australian football in its current state.“We needed that boost because the game in the past two years with Covid, it’s made everyone pessimistic about the whole situation.“Now all of a sudden we’ve got a World Cup to look forward to, we’ve got the women’s World Cup which we’re co-hosting in 2023, so it’s a massive boost for everyone.“It’ll help the game progress, it’ll help the A-League progress – the next year’s going to be massive for our game.”Aloisi’s former Socceroos teammate Craig Moore was also thrilled with Australia’s World Cup qualification, but sympathised with Peru.“Absolutely delighted for Socceroos players and the staff in what was a very tough WC qualifying campaign,” Moore tweeted.“I’d also like to offer my thoughts to Peru. Losing that way is never nice and I know you will be back. Great opponent so good luck moving forward.”However, Aloisi felt Peru paid the price for underestimating the Socceroos.Aloisi said Peru’s decision to go to Spain to prepare for the match rather than head to Qatar earlier was a mistake.“They looked like they had no legs, while Australia was acclimatised from spending a couple of weeks in Qatar, playing a friendly game there – they were better suited,” Aloisi said.Originally published as John Aloisi says World Cup qualification will provide Australian football with a much-needed kick