Argentine coach Ricardo Gareca, who was ignored for the Black Stars job three years ago, has qualified Peru to the 2018 Fifa World Cup finals.
Nicknamed El “T”igre, the 59-year-old led Peru to a 2-0 aggregate win over New Zealand on Wednesday and is taking the South Americans to their first World Cup in 36 years.
Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos fired Peru to a deserved 2-0 victory in Lima, four days after the sides had played out a goalless draw in Wellington.
Peru were much the better side and deservedly booked their place at the World Cup finals for a fifth time.
Coincidentally, it was Coach Ricardo Gareca whose goal for Argentina crushed Peru’s 1986 World Cup dreams.
The Ghana link
In 2014, Gareca was among the coaches who applied to replace Kwasi Appiah as Black Stars coach. The Ghana FA Search Committee could only place him on standby for the job which eventually fell to former Chelsea boss Avram Grant.
Patrick Kluivert, Michel Pont, Juan Ignacio Jimenez, Marco Tardelli and Avram Grant were named in a 5-man shortlist from which the latter came tops.
A disappointed Gareca who was then out of job following his sack by Brazilian side Palmeiras after only four months moved on to take up the Peruvian job in March 2015.
And 32 months down the line, Ricardo has achieved the ultimate, leading Peru to complete the 2018 Fifa World Cup roster. The draw for the finals is scheduled for December 1.
Ghana, meanwhile, failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
Ricardo Gareca makes it five Argentine managers who are heading to Russia: Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina); Edgardo Bauza (Saudi Arabia); José Pekerman (Colombia); Héctor Cúper (Egypt) and Gareca (Peru).