Forget the Wiggles dance, this was penalty shootout hero’s best move

Dancing along the goal line was only the start of Andrew Redmayne’s mental tactics in the on Tuesday morning.

The man substituted on to the field in the final minute of play was not just a master of saving penalties but one at preventing Peru’s goalkeeper from doing the same.

The 33-year-old was brought on in the final minute of play, replacing arguably the country’s most well-known player – captain Mat Ryan – for the most crucial moments a goalkeeper can face.

Standing 11 metres away from Peru’s penalty takers, Redmayne created a scene of havoc. He danced on his line, waving his go-go-gadget arms wildly as he became an agent of chaos in the shootout. He would walk away from the goal, delaying the penalty taker and giving them that extra 20 seconds to carry the weight of expectation.

He was warned twice by the referee that his behaviour would be punished with a yellow card but of all his attempts of disruption, his most important came at the expense of Peru’s goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

Redmayne saw Gallese had notes of Australia’s penalty takers taped to his water bottle; names, faces and likely directions of the shots. As soon as he spotted it, Redmayne walked over, picked up the water bottle and threw it over the advertising boards and towards the stands, robbing Gallese of any advantage or insight.

That happened, Redmayne said. If we had notes on our drink bottle and someone saw that, it would have been thrown a long way away. I knew how much it meant to the boys and it was a ‘kill or be killed’ moment.

Before Redmayne’s intervention Gallese had saved Martin Boyle’s attempt and went in the right direction of Aaron Mooy’s penalty but couldn’t get a hand to the shot. He guessed incorrectly for Goodwin, Ajdin Hrustic and Awer Mabil who followed. Only for Jamie Maclaren did he subsequently dive in the right direction but to no avail.

Goalkeeper notes on penalty-takers are not uncommon.

German gloveman Jens Lehman famously had a note in his sock before the 2006 World Cup quarter-final shootout against Argentina.

Redmayne and his former Sydney FC goalkeeping coach John Crawley (now with the Socceroos) hadshootout against Perth Glory.

If penalty shootouts are football’s psychological warfare, Redmayne wasn’t taking any prisoners. He also wasn’t there to win any admirers – least of all Peruvian ones. While his theatrics in staring down takers have earned him a new nickname The Grey Wiggle and led to the famous children’s band dedicating a song to him, it’s perhaps his gamesmanship against Gallese that was most important.

Unfortunately for Redmayne, Machu Picchu is a wonder of the world he might not be able to visit anytime soon. His role in the shoot-out was poorly received in the Andean nation. There was a fierce backlash on social media when Movistar Deportes cameras showed footage of Redmayne throwing away the notes. The goalkeeper of Bolivia, Carlos Lampe, joined the criticism. Bolivia is a close cultural ally of Peru.

However, Redmayne’s performance has been lauded in Chile, which is a fierce rival of Peru at political, social and sporting levels. Sports website Redgol praised the Australian histrionic goalkeeper. Inter Milan’s Arturo Vidal celebrated the result with a post on social media simply saying happy and Redmayne fan pages from Chile have popped up on social media. Chile were incensed to miss out on a spot in the play-off to Peru and legally challenged the eligibility of players of other teams but to no avail. They have also warmed to the Socceroos’ due to the link with their goalkeeper coach, John Crawley, who played for Santiago giants Colo Colo.

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