How the Socceroos 'planned' Redmayne's heroics months in advance

Substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne became an instant hero for the entire country after making the match-winning save in the shootout against Peru, but he revealed that the tactic had been planned for months. 

After 120 minutes could not separate Graham Arnold’s side and Peru at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Redmayne was substituted on to take the place of Mat Ryan for the all-important penalty shootout. 

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It was an extraordinary decision to throw Redmayne into the shootout and one that had the potential to backfire spectacularly. Had it gone wrong, Australia would have missed out on the World Cup and all the talk would have been about the substitution. 

But destiny prevailed and Redmayne, dancing on the goal line just as he has done throughout his A-League Men career, stood up to make the match-winning save. 

The save sparked wild scenes at the stadium and across the nation as joy and shock that the substitution had paid off set in, but Redmayne said it was a secret plan that had been discussed more than a month in advance.

“The idea of stopping a penalty was floated at least a month ago I dare say,” Redmayne explained post-match. 

“(Goalkeeper coach) John Crawley threw out the theory behind it and said: ‘get ready for that’. It was always in the back of my head for the UAE game and for this game it was kind of planned I guess, between myself and the staff.

“I don’t think any of the players knew about it but I think a few of them clocked on at halftime when I did some warm-up drills.

It was a plan that was floated a month, six weeks ago. I probably didn’t think it would end this way but the longer the camp went on, the more I felt comfortable.

“So the homework was done well before, it was just a matter of being warm and nimble so I could step out and execute the plan.”

Redmayne also revealed that Ryan was unaware that he was going to be substituted but he was supportive and the pair embraced warmly on the touchline where Ryan said: “All the best mate, this is your time.”

Even at full time when the team was in the huddle, Ryan told Redmayne: “You’ve got this mate, it’s all you.” 

While Redmayne’s shootout save has stolen most of the headlines, it was his unique action that sparked conversation throughout the footballing world. 

The 33-year-old danced, jumped and even spun along his goal line in an attempt to put off the Peruvian takers.

He reprised his Wiggles-style dance moves that helped win the 2019 A-League grand final, this time becoming an icon on the world stage.

Asked post-match if Redmayne thought his antics actually put Peru off their spot kicks, he said that it would have played a part. 

“I think it would have put them off,” Redmayne explained. 

It's surprising them in the sense of putting on a fresh goalkeeper because they would have prepared all week thinking that Maty Ryan was going to be in goals and then to put me on would have thrown them a little bit.”

He added: “The referee was trying to keep me in check by threatening a yellow card a couple of times for trying to provoke players. I said I wasn't doing that. 

“I didn't say anything verbally to anyone but any little thing that I could do to gain one per cent, I was going to do.

We spoke as a team about how much it means to everyone to go to a World Cup so if I could gain one or two per cent by doing something stupid and making a fool of myself, I was gonna do it.

“I’m so glad that I was able to contribute just a small part to what has been a gruelling three-year campaign.”

Watch all the drama unfold in the full penalty shootout