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WORLD CUP 2018: France grind out win over Peru to book knockout spot

France have secured their passage to the round of 16 at Russia 2018 with gritty 1-0 win over Peru.

The earlier match between Australia and Denmark meant that a win would solidify France's place in the knockout stages, while Peru looked to get their first win at a World Cup in 40 years.

Peru picked up exactly where they left off against Denmark with their high-pressure attack, while the French were happy to absorb the punches and wait for the opportune moment.

The French were quite clearly experiencing more frustration in challenges and fouls, as the Peruvians continually got under the skin of their opponents. However, their class and poise showed more than it did in the game against Australia.

France looked quite comfortable on and off the ball, prepared for Peru's all-out attack while being able to carve out chances of their own with relative ease.

Peru held the majority of possession throughout the match but the French made their possession count, threatening Pedro Gallese on more than one occassion.

Despite France's chances coming more often, they were unlucky not to score as well as facing Gallese's presence between the sticks for Peru.

Try as Peru might to prevent the inevitable, the deadlock was finally broken by young trailblazer Kylian Mbappe. A shot from Giroud was deflected into the path of Mbappe's run, and the 19-year-old showed the composure of a legend to coolly tap the ball home.

While Peru did well to wrestle back possession in their favour, the French were not fazed. A long range shot from Pedro Aquino had France holding their collective breath, but the ball smashed the corner of the goal before going out. That sole effort was the only time Hugo Lloris really felt threatened.

As we've mentioned before, if there's a narrative for this World Cup, it's that possession doesn't win you games. Peru dominated the ball for long periods of the game, and were perhaps unlucky not to salvage a point from this one.

Peru took the pace down as they tried to channel their possession into clear cut chances yet their desperation was palpable. France hardly looked unsettled against Peru's frenetic tactics to hold firm and progress to the next stage.


WORLD CUP - GROUP B

France - 1 (Mbappe 34')

Peru - 0

About the author

Chris Sermeno

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