The dancing goalie who took Australia to World Cup,


“I don’t think any of the players knew about it,” Redmayne said.

The 33-year old goalkeeper was the only one apart from the Australia head coach, Graham Arnold, who had secretly informed Redmayne that he’d be making an appearance towards the end of the game. And he did. Replacing captain Matt Ryan, Australia’s goalkeeper for majority of the 90 minutes and extra time, the Sydney FC goalkeeper stood tall at the end of the penalty shootout to ensure his country featured at the FIFA World Cup finals for the fifth consecutive time.

“Maty was full of support coming off and then just before penalties as well, he was pumping me up and getting me ready…when we were in a huddle he said ‘you’ve got this mate, this is all you’,” Redmayne said after the match. 

Graham Arnold later confirmed that the Australia captain wasn’t aware of the change happening until his number went up on the fourth official board, stating that he understood why this was happening just ahead of the penalty shootout.

Redmayne’s reputation as a penalty shootout super sub goalkeeper hadn’t grown overnight. On his way, he took a road of self-discovery, having almost quit the game that gave him last night and a place in Australian folklore.

Five years ago, Redmayne had given up on his ambitions to continue as a footballer and was all set to become a barista at his friend’s cafe. Last night, he helped his national side inch past Peru to book a ticket for Qatar 2022.

“Self-belief came into it – I just didn’t think I was good enough, to be honest. It was a pretty rough stage of my life,” he had said to Guardian in an interview. 

For Redmayne, it all changed when he was swapped to Sydney FC from Western Sydney Wanderers back in 2017. John Crawley, the goalkeeping coach at Sydney FC helped revive his love for the game. It was in this new phase of his career that Redmayne began dancing between the post to distract penalty takers.  

“You’re a sitting duck anyway so you may as well try and fly, I guess,” he said in 2019, an year that saw him win the A-League with Sydney, courtesy his penalty shootout heroics in the final.

“I haven’t saved [a penalty] my whole career and now I’ve saved four this year. I don’t know what’s going on.”

Redmayne’s reputation peaked last night, in Australia’s World Cup intercontinental playoff.

“I’m not going to take credit,” he told Channel 10 after full-time at the Al Rayyan Stadium. “The boys ran out 120 minutes, and it not only takes 11 on the field but the boys on the bench, the boys in the stands.

He added, “I’ve been working on a few things in training, but at the end of the day, it is either right or left, the homework has been done and I’m just grateful to the other boys for running 120 minutes.”

A stalemate for 120 minutes

Earlier in the game, both the sides had their go at the goal with a total of 21 shots, but only three of them were on target. Ajdin Hrustic came the closest to registering his name on the scoresheet with a curling effort that went just wide of the goal ahead of the full time whistle in Qatar.

Edison Flores also came close to breaking the deadlock for Peru with a header that struck the bar in the 109th minute.

Peru had qualified for the 2018 World Cup, their first time since 1982, and were looking to feature in back-to-back editions for only the second time in their history.

Australia on the other hand are enjoying their most successful run in world football. The Socceroos will now feature in their sixth overall, and fifth consecutive World Cup. They first qualified for the competition back in 1974.

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