First off, we must congratulate Peru on ensuring their participation in next summer’s World Cup.
Goals from Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos gave the South American side a 2-0 win over New Zealand in the second leg of the play-off after the first leg finished goalless.
Our commiserations go out to the All Whites who were on the receiving end of some underhanded tactics before and during the game.
New Zealand’s team hotel was targeted the night before the game by rowdy Peru fans, who let off fireworks in an attempt to disrupt the players’ sleep.
Then, during the game, several New Zealand players had lasers shined in their eyes aimed at them from fans in the stands.
Stefan Marinovic was evidently the main target as the 26-year-old goalkeeper had to deal with numerous attempts to impair his vision throughout the game.
It wasn’t just fans employing dirty tactics either.
Three military jets performed a low-flying swoop directly over New Zealand’s hotel on the day of the game — presumably an intimidation ploy.
Previously, New Zealand’s arrival in Lima was delayed by three hours after an unexplained intervention from the local authorities.
And then the bus from the airport to the hotel also took twice as long as it should have on a relatively traffic-free night in the Peruvian capital.
All Whites’ defender Andrew Durante said: “We knew what we were going to be in for.
“They used every trick in the book to try and put us off.
“We had a strong mindset that we wouldn’t let any of that [the lasers] affect us [and] we can’t use any of that as any reasons [for the loss].”
To top it all off, several Peruvian shamans and witchdoctors claimed to have put a curse on New Zealand in the build-up to the game.
A reminder here that Peru are currentle ranked as the tenth best team in the world by FIFA while New Zealand reside down at 122.