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LIVE: The Socceroos face Peru for a place in a fifth straight World Cup on Tuesday morning (4:00 a.m. AEST) – and they’re showing promising signs early on.

Striker Mitch Duke – the only change from the side that beat the United Arab Emirates 2-1 last week for a place in these intercontinental qualifiers – struck twice from long range from outside the box in the first seven minutes.

The Australians are struggling to play the ball out of their own half, under pressure from a disciplined and energetic Peru defense.

And young right-back Nathaniel Atkinson, in just his third Australian appearance, picked up a yellow card in the opening 15 minutes for holding off dangerous winger Christian Cueva, leaving him on a tightrope for the rest of the match.

Australia had a third shot in the first quarter when an Aaron Mooy corner kick was headed over the crossbar by fellow countryman Jackson Irvine.

And there was another moment of optimism in the 20th minute when midfielder Ajdin Hrustic threw a wide pass to winger Martin Boyle, who danced between two defenders and whipped a cross to the edge of the box repair, but a meter too far forward for a diving duke.

The Socceroos were forced to work extremely hard, as Peru increased the pressure after 20 minutes. The South American side were skilful and composed in possession, holding it for long periods as Australia looked to maintain their form in defence.

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Socceroos victory broken down in full | 07:10

Australia versus Peru; FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Intercontinental play-off

Venue: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Doha, Qatar

Kick-off: 4:00 a.m. AEST, Tuesday, June 14

Broadcast: Network 10 from 3:30 AEST


Follow the action in our live blog below. If you don’t see the blog, click here.


There was only one change from last week’s win over the United Arab Emirates, with striker Mitchell Duke taking the centre-forward position. Veteran Mathew Leckie was moved to the left wing, his preferred position, as Adelaide United set-piece specialist Craig Goodwin fell to the bench.

Jamie Maclaren had been seen as more likely to start in the number nine role, having come off the bench in the second half against the United Arab Emirates in an impressive effort. But Arnold apparently prioritized Duke’s ability to hold onto the ball and engage his teammates.

Arnold said before the game: “I think Lecks played very well there, he chased and harassed the centre-backs and did a fantastic job. We have several options, plus Mitchell Duke and Nick D’Agostino.

But one of those attacking options in Adam Taggart failed to overcome his injury and didn’t even make it to the substitutes bench. Melbourne Victory left-back Jason Davidson has also been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Another key selection conundrum had been the center of defense. Regular centre-back Trent Sainsbury missed the clash against the United Arab Emirates with a knee injury and was forced to train alone ahead of Tuesday morning’s match. He returned to the substitutes’ bench, with Arnold choosing to keep the combination of Kye Rowles and Bailey Wright.

And Arnold again opted to stay with the incumbent in the case of the right-back position.

Nathaniel Atkinson – who turns 23 on the 13th – endured a tough time against the United Arab Emirates in his second international appearance. But he held his place over 26-year-old Fran Karacic, who has represented Australia eight times and is more defensive than the youngster.

Arnold said: “We worked on it with Nathaniel and Fran. Nathaniel isolated himself a few times against a player who had very good speed. Sometimes he would let the player turn and face him and use his speed. He must not let the player turn. We worked on it and we talked about it. These two players are in the calculations.

Remarkably, six players from the Peruvian starting XI faced Australia at the 2018 World Cup. But there are some key changes – Yoshimar Yotun, out injured, with Christofer Gonzales his late replacement in midfield.

Their front three of Christian Cueva, Gianluca Lapadula and Andre Carrillo are incredibly impressive. Be careful.

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Socceroos just ONE VICTORY | 03:27


The Socceroos are ready to do anything to win, even if it means a penalty shootout.

The Socceroos are heavy underdogs for the single battle in Doha, where more than 12,000 Peruvian supporters are in attendance against just a few dozen traveling Australian supporters.

After finishing third in their Asian qualifying group (AFC), Graham Arnold’s side were forced to beat the United Arab Emirates 2-1 in last week’s qualifiers to book their place in this intercontinental qualifier, where they meet the fifth-ranked South American team. (CONMEBOL).

“We have to face them,” Arnold told SEN radio over the weekend. “We have to make it a fight, a war, and make sure that when we go out on the pitch, we shake them up. When we do that, it’s our best bet.