France advance to Round of 16 with 1-0 victory, Peru eliminated

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Photo Credit: Getty Images/FIFA.com

France 1 – Peru 0

France ensured a spot in the 2018 World Cup Round of 16 on Thursday with their 1-0 victory over Peru at Ekaterinburg Arena. Peru, having earned zero points from two matches, have no chance of advancing with one match remaining.

With France coming off a less than convincing 2-1 victory against Australia, and Peru squandering plenty of opportunities in their previous match, a 1-0 loss to Denmark, both sides had much to prove in the contest. A balanced affair early, the match lost some of its sheen as Peru sought to disrupt France’s rhythm through fouling. Forwards Antoine Griezmann and midfielder Paul Pogba both managed to still find opportunities for France. In the 12th minute, Pogba took a long range shot that bounced wide of goal, while Griezmann tested Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallase four minutes later.

The game opened up for both sides around the half hour mark. Peru saw their best chance of the half in 31st minute, when forward Paulo Guerrero was played a slip ball in the  box, taking a touch past the defender before shooting straight at France goalkeeper Hugo Llores.

France would nearly open the scoring just two minutes later from forward Kylian Mbappe’s acrobatic attempt to redirect a long ball over the top from Pogba. The 19-year-old’s shot was saved by Gallase. Gallase could do little, however, when Mbappe tapped in a cross from fellow forward Olivier Giroud for the only goal of the match.

The deficit seemed to redouble Peru’s resolve, becoming a stronger side as they looked for an equalizer. Though Peru would see extended lengths of possession and a few chances, France never looked discomfited in dealing with their forays.

The first real chance of the second half for Peru came from midfielder Christian Cueva’s bending shot from just outside the 18-yard-box, in the 50th minute, sent Lloris sprawling for a save, but the effort hit the outside of the post. Midfielder Jefferson Farfan would provide another near moment of hope, getting on the end of a cross with a far post run. Unfortunately for Peru, his half-bicycled effort would only find the side netting.

Guerrero, Peru’s all-time leading goal scorer, would have his moment for heroics in the 87th minute, after Farfan earned free kick at the top of the 18-yard-box, but there would be no tournament saving goal for Peru. Guerrero’s dipping free kick was easily caught by Llores. France would see the match out, securing their advance as well as Peru’s exit.

France (2-0-0, 6 points) next play Denmark (1-0-1, 4 points, Moscow) on Tuesday, June 26, as they hope to secure first place in Group C, while Peru (0-2-0, 0 points) will face Australia (0-1-1, 1 point, Sochi) Tusday, June 26.

France-Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Paul Pogba (Steven Nzoni 89’), Antoine Griezmann (Nabil Fekir 80’), Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe (Ousmane Dembele 75’), Ngolo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Lucas Hernandez

Goal-Mbappe (34’)

Yellow Cards-Matuidi (16’), Pogba (86’)

Peru-Pedro Gallase, Alberto Rodriguez (Anderson Santamaria 46’), Miguel Trauco, Christian Cueva (Raul Ruidiaz 82’), Paulo Guerrero, Christian Ramos, Luis Advincula, Andre Carrillo, Yoshimar Yotun (Jefferson Farfan 46’), Edison Flores, Pedro Aquino

Yellow Cards-Guerrero (23’), Aquino (81’)

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