Peru Qualified For The World Cup For The First Time In 36 Years And People Went Nuts

credit: STR / AFP / Daniel Apuy / Getty

Last month, after a wild final day of World Cup qualifying matches in CONMEBOL (South America’s soccer confederation), four teams booked a direct ticket to the 2018 World Cup in Russia: Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia. Copa America champs Chile were eliminated, while Peru, a country that hadn’t made it to the World Cup since 1982, qualified for a two-game playoff against New Zealand to fight for one of the final spots in Russia.

Earlier this week, the teams played to a 0-0 draw in New Zealand, setting up a dramatic second leg in Peru. Here’s how it went down.

The Estadio Nacional de Lima was absolutely packed with fans ready to be a part of history.

CREDIT: LatinContent / Getty

Before the match began, fans sang together to hype up La Blanquirroja.

Early in the first half, Jefferson Farfan shot a rocket past New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic to give Peru a 1-0 lead. Everyone in the stadium, including the TV announcers, went absolutely nuts.

During his celebration, Farfan held up the jersey of teammate Paolo Guerrero, who scored a crucial goal last month that kept Peru’s World Cup hopes alive. Guerrero was suspended from both matches after previously testing positive for banned substances.

After the goal, Peru’s 36-year World Cup drought looked to be over, if La Blanquirroja could hold on to the lead. “Se rompió el maleficio (The curse has been broken),” exclaimed one of the announcers.

Things got so raucous in Lima that a seismic activity monitor was activated during the celebration of the first goal.

“INCREDIBLE. Alarm from seismic detector was activated in the District of Lima due to the celebration of the goal from Peru against New Zealand,” wrote Sismologia Chile.

In the second half, Christian Ramos gave Peru breathing room with this goal:

After 90 minutes, New Zealand couldn’t muster up enough offense to score any goals. As the final whistle neared, the stadium was ready to erupt. And it did.

In the middle of the pandemonium, Peru coach Ricardo Gareca smiled, looking more relieved that anything else.

The celebration continued into the locker room…

… In the stadium…

… And onto the streets.

Some fans couldn’t help but shed a tear after the historic victory…

While others took part in, um, NSFW celebrations.

Peru fans from different generations were able to celebrate the historic moment together.

Peru’s President, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, congratulated the team via Twitter.

And Kuczynski declared the following day a public holiday so people could continue to celebrate (or recover from all the post-match partying).

Congratulations, Peru! See you at the World Cup.

CREDIT: SeleccionPeru / Twitter

 

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