Peru declares public holiday after first World Cup qualification in 36 years

LIMA – Peru has declared a national holiday after the South American country became the final side to qualify for the World Cup 2018 in Russia with a 2-0 play-off victory over New Zealand in Lima on Wednesday.

New Zealand were attempting to reach their third World Cup finals.

Public sector workers have been given the day off and schools will not open.

Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos scored for Peru following a goalless first leg.

“It’s a child’s dream. It’s a big emotion, beyond making history” midfielder Christian Cueva said.

Fans celebrated in the streets and also taunted their local rivals Chile, who did not qualify for the tournament.

Peru, who are 10th in Fifa’s world rankings, will go into the second group of seeds when the draw is made on 1 December.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski tweeted his congratulations.

“We waited more than 35 years to be in a World Cup again. Thank you warriors for giving us this joy.”