France booked their spot in the 2018 World Cup knockout rounds with a 1-0 win over Peru on Thursday night.
Another underwhelming win, but Les Bleus are through
After scraping through with three points against the Socceroos, manager Didier Deschamps would have been hoping for an improved performance from his team. Oliver Giroud was brought into the starting XI and made an impact, threatening alongside Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.
It was Mbappe who found the back on the net in the 34th minute. Paul Pogba made a great challenge in midfield to win the ball and after a nice piece of play, the youngster waltzed into the six yard box to clean up Giroud’s attempt which ballooned over the head of goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
The French certainly looked better in attack than their previous match, but are still yet to really fire. Now locked in to the Round of 16, Deschamps can use their final group stage match against Denmark to ensure his team are ready to go when things heat up in the knockout stages.
Peru show heart, yet go home early
Peru were a great story heading into the World Cup, with fans doing anything they could to get to Russia. They sold their cars, houses, whatever it took to ensure they could make the trip. Peruvian fans bought the eighth most tickets of any nation at the World Cup and their supporters have been vocal throughout both games.
Paolo Guerrero went close to opening the scoring early in the first half, but his shot was straight at Hugo Lloris who was able to comfortably deal with it. Pedro Aquino went close in the second half with a long range strike that had Lloris beaten, but it was just inches off equalising as the shot smashed into the top corner of the upright. Overall, Peru did not disgrace themselves, but were outclassed on the day by a French team that oozes talent.
What do the Socceroos need to do to qualify for the Round of 16?
The final matchday of Group C will kick off next Wednesday morning, where Australia will take on Peru and Denmark will be up against France.
If Bert van Marwijk’s men are to lose or draw, it will be impossible to advance to the Round of 16, but with a win comes hope.
Australia (one point) will also be relying on France to defeat Denmark as the Danes currently sit on four points. In this scenario it will come down to goal difference.
If the goal difference is equal, the number of goals scored will be judged, with both teams also currently tied at two.