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Jun 21, 2018 at 4pm UK at Stadion Central'nyj (Ekaterinburg)
Attendance: 32,789
Mbappe (34')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Live Commentary: France 1-0 Peru - as it happened

Relive how France booked their last-16 place and knocked Peru out of the World Cup, with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates from Yekaterinburg.

France secured their place in the World Cup knockout stages with a 1-0 victory over Peru in Yekaterinburg this afternoon - a result which eliminated the South Americans.

After losing to Denmark in their opening Group C match, Peru needed at least a point to keep their last-16 hopes alive and gave France as good as they got for the most part.

Kylian Mbappe's first-half goal - making him France's youngest ever World Cup scorer - was enough for Les Bleus to record a second straight win which puts them top of Group C.

Peru's efforts to equalise were largely limited to long-range shots, although midfielder Pedro Aquino did come close when his 30-yard thunderbolt came back off the crossbar.

Relive how the action unfolded at the action at the Ekaterinburg Arena unfolded with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Following Denmark's 1-1 draw with Australia this lunchtime, Group C is France's for the taking as they prepare to face Peru in Yekaterinburg. Can Les Bleus pick up another win which will confirm their place in the last 16, or will the South Americans keep their own qualification hopes alive? Let's find out...

Before we get on to the team news from the Ekaterinburg Arena, let's recap today's final result from Group C, where Australia came from behind to snatch a point against Denmark, Mile Jedinak's penalty cancelling out Christian Eriksen's strike. View the match report here, and the Group B table here.

FRANCE: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Pogba, Kante, Matuidi; Griezmann, Giroud, Mbappe
Subs: Kimpembe, Lemar, Dembele, Tolisso, N'Zonzi, Mandanda, Rami, Fekir, Sidibe, Thauvin, Mendy, Areola

PERU: Gallese; Advincula, Ramos, Rodriguez, Trauco; Aquino, Yotun, Carrillo, Flores, Cueva; Guerrero
Subs: Corzo, Santamaria, Araujo, Hurtado, Farfan, Ruidiaz, Caceda, Tapia, Polo, Cartagena, Carvallo, Loyola

France manager Didier Deschamps makes two changes to the starting XI which limped past Australia, rewarding Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud with a start after his involvement in Antoine Griezmann's opening goal. Kylian Mbappe completes the front three as Ousmane Dembele drops out.

France's other change sees Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi come in for Bayern Munich's Corentin Tolisso, an alteration which may offer Les Bleus greater balance in midfield with Matuidi a natural on the left side of the three. Premier League dup Paul Pogba and N'golo Kante complete that trio.

In the back five, captain Hugo Lloris makes his 100th international appearance, making the Tottenham Hotspur stopper the first goalkeeper to reach that milestone for France. Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard is again given the nod having somewhat surprisingly usurped Djibril Sidibe of Monaco.

A Real Madrid-Barcelona centre-back partnership has made world champions of Spain, and France will hope for the same result anchored by Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtitt. Varane is joined by his Real teammate Theo Hernandez on the left, formerly of Atletico Madrid to deepen the La Liga connection.

Dembele, Thomas Lemar, Nabil Fekir, Florian Thauvin - just some of the attacking options available to Deschamps from the bench, and that is without the likes of Dimitri Payet and Anthony Martial who have been left at home. I don't think any team in the tournament has such an embarrassment of riches.

Peru do not possess a fraction of the firepower that France do, but they do welcome back all-time leading goalscorer and captain Paolo Guerrero after he started from the bench against Denmark. Guerrero has had a 14-month drug ban lifted so he can play in Russia, so will be blessed just to be here.

Guerrero's return is one of two changes made by Peru boss Ricardo Gareca, with former PSV Eindhoven and Schalke winger Jefferson Farfan - now at Lokomotiv Moscow - one of the surprising names to miss out. Farfan deputised for Guerrero in the last match but could have been shifted out wide.

Elsewhere, midfielder Pedro Aquino of Mexican side Leon, replaces Renato Tapia when it may have been Christian Cueva on the chopping block instead. It was the 26-year-old who missed the penalty which cost the South Americans a point against Denmark, although he did win it himself.

With Peru playing at their first World Cup since 1982, former Newcastle midfielder Nolberto Solano is experiencing his first taste of the tournament as assistant manager to Gareca. So, this could be the first time ever that the Toon Army are cheering on a team wearing red and white.

In the absence of Farfan, who has been Peru's talisman for nearly a decade, a lot of pressure will fall on Andre Carrillo to provide the service to Guerrero. , Carillo spent last season on loan at Watford, scoring one goal in 26 appearance, in what could be considered a defensive spell from Benfica.

It has been 40 years since Peru last recorded a World Cup goal or win - against Scotland way back in 1978 - although they did muster 17 shots against Denmark so this current team aren't the type of underdog who are going to sit back and accept their place in the tournament food chain.

The South Americans are winless in their last seven World Cup matches, drawing two and losing five. They have also failed to win any of their last five encounters against European opposition on football's biggest stage, drawing two and losing three. That Scotland victory again the most recent one.

In contrast, France are unbeaten in their last seven World Cup fixtures against South American opposition, although three of those contests have ended goalless. The last South American team to beat France at the World Cup were hosts Argentina on their way to lifting the trophy in 1978.

Les Bleus have not conceded a goal in their last six World Cup games against South American sides. Their defence may be a slight concern in terms of going deep into this tournament, with some inexperienced players missing and only one clean sheet in five matches.

At the other end, Griezmann has been directly involved in nine of France's last 13 goals scored in major tournaments - World Cup and European Championships - with seven goals and two assists.

Teenage prodigy Kylian Mbappe is waiting to score his first major tournament strike, which, should it come in Russia, would make him France's youngest ever goalscorer in a World Cup or European Championships - currently David Trezeguet vs Saudi Arabia in 1998 - 20 years, 246 days.

Mbappe already became France's youngest ever player in a major tournament in their opening match. The 19-year-old scored 21 goals in 39 appearances for Paris Saint-German last term so with a record of one in two, you wouldn't bet against him breaking a record for the second straight match.

After consecutive defeats against Mexico and South Africa to start their disastrous 2010 campaign, France are unbeaten in their last four group stage games in World Cup finals. They reached the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago after Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras in the pool.

HEAD TO HEAD: France and Peru's only previous encounter was a friendly in April 1982, which the South American side won 1-0 at the Parc des Princes. Another famous scalp today is needed otherwise their return to the world stage after 36 years will come to a premature end.

To clarify, France will qualify from Group C with victory which would also ruin Peru's chances of reaching the last 16. A Peru win would move them level on points with France after two matches, with Australia to play in their last group match. At this stage, it looks like France and Denmark to go through.

None of the pre-tournament favourites are yet to put a marker down at this World Cup; this is France's opportunity. Les Bleus were below par in beating Australia, and Raphael Varane admitted there are improvements that need to be made.

He told BBC Sport: "Some things were not done that well [in the first match]. We know that we will have to defend with more intensity, but mostly defend together. We've made our assessments. We have talked among players. We've talked to the coach. We know where we want to go for the next match."

Reports suggest that around 40,000 Peruvians have travelled to Russia, and it looks as though nearly half of that number have packed the Ekaterinburg Arena, which is one of the smallest stadiums at the World Cup, having needed temporary stands to be erected for it to reach the 35,000 minimum capacity.

This is what Peru's Raul Ruidiaz told BBC Sport about their army of supporters: "It was amazing to see a lot of Peruvians in Saransk singing our national anthem with passion. We know what this World Cup means to our people. Every time we go to the field, we leave everything on the field."

Just over five minutes until kickoff here. Mohammed Abdulla Hassan from the United Arab Emirates is today's referee.

PREDICTION: Can France's brilliant bunch of individuals start to perform as a unit? If they can they will take some stopping. Their performance against Australia raised some concerns but even with room for them to improve I think they will have enough to beat Peru 2-0 today.

Peru's biggest fan is watching, and wishing them luck, in his own unique way...

KICKOFF: The action is underway in Yekaterinburg, the most Eastern venue at this World Cup...

The ex-Watford man Carrillo has made a bright start, getting some joy running at Hernandez down the Peru right. There is no permanent deal in place for him to return to Vicarage Road so the winger is playing for a move here. He could not have a better platform, and looks lively already.

France have barely been out of their own half so far and seem to be lagging behind Peru in terms of intensity and pace. This is where that midfield trio of Kante, Pogba and Matuidi need to get on the ball and just settle things down, but the South Americans aren't giving them the time or space to do so.

CLOSE! We have seen some spectacular goals already at this World Cup, but this would have taken some beating. Yoshimar Yotun picks the ball up on the halfway line, sees Lloris off his line and goes for a David Beckham vs. Wimbledon style lob which drops just over the bar.

Les Bleus appear to have been unsettled by their own uncertian start, and the vicious atmosphere inside the Ekaterinburg Arena may have played a part. Every France touch is being met by deafening boos as the Peru supporters try to make their 8,000 mile trip worthwile as the 12th man.

SHOT! It has been better in the last couple of minutes for France. Pogba has been pushed on, into an advanced position from which his best displays for Manchester United have come, and he picks up the ball 30 yards from goal and takes on an ambitious effort which goes narrowly wide.

CHANCE! Varane goes close from a corner, rising highest to meet Griezmann's cross with a header which he glances just wide of the post. A couple of minutes previously, Griezmann had linked up with Giroud only to screw a shot wide on his weaker right foot - he is starting to have an impact.

France want a penalty after Mbappe, sandwiched by a couple of defenders, is tugged down in the box. The referee is not having it, and he doesn't get anything in his ear from VAR to tell him otherwise.

SAVE! The French front two combine nicely again as Giroud, almost untouchable in the air, knocks the ball down for Griezmann who meets his half-volley sweetly but directs it straight at goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

YELLOW! The last 10 minutes has been much better from France, soured only by a booking given to Matuidi, who took a tactical foul on Edison Flores to prevent Peru getting away on the break.

Peru waste a free kick from a promising position with Alberto Rodriguez pushing Umtiti over in the box. Set pieces are going to be crucial for Peru as they prepare to have significantly less possession, so that will be frustrating for the manager.

YELLOW! The card count is evened up as Guerrero, undoubtedly the bad boy of Peruvian football, is called up for a foul, but actually penalised for his reaction to the decision as he protests too strongly in the face of the Emirati official.

Midway through the half and it has swung back and forth so far. Peru came out of the blocks with a real intent to get amongst France, and they are now getting a second wind after Les Bleus grasped brief control after 10 minutes. This is not going to be easy for Didier Deschamps' men.

This graphic shows the gulf in stature between these two teams, even if that is yet to show on the pitch today.

So far, this France performance has not been any better than the one which they produced against Australia. They have struggled to transition the ball through midfield to attack.

CHANCE! Golden opportunity for Peru as Guerrero spins away from Umtiti to work a shooting chance which he hits straight at the legs of Lloris from 12 yards out. It was really tidy build-up play but the finish was lacking conviction, even though it fell to the right man.

Pogba spots the run of Mbappe and picks him out with a delicious chip over the Peru defence, but the PSG forward gets himself in a mess and, in the end, does not make any contact with the pass. At first he looked as though he was lining up an overhead, and then a header, but in the end, nothing!


Mbappe cannot possibly mess this one up, nodding the ball into an empty net from just a few yards out after Pogba had released Giroud for a shot which was partially blocked by goalkeeper Gallese, only to fall for Mbappe right in front of goal.

Kylian Mbappe scores the opener during the World Cup group game between France and Peru on June 21, 2018© Reuters

And at 19 years at 183 days, that goal makes Mbappe France's youngest ever goalscorer at a major tournament. Something tells me that there will be more to come from the wonderkid.

Gallese could not quite do enough to prevent the goal, but he makes a vital intervention here by coming off his line to beat Giroud to a Griezmann cross which was begging to be tapped in.

Peru need to be careful here because there is a danger that all of their hard work in this first half is going to come undone before the break. The South Americans look tired and France smell blood.

SAVE! Wonderful football from France as they switch the ball rapidly from the right - Griezmann with the standout pass, played blind around the corner to tee up Hernandez, whose shot from inside the box is pushed away by Gallese. The left-back needed a better first touch there.

Mbappe gets to the right byline and tries to dink a cross towards Giroud but Luis Advincula intercepts. It is a little last ditch from the underdogs but anywhere will do before half time.

There will be two minutes of stoppage time. France are still pouring forward, with Giroud - a much better player than he has ever been given credit for - turning away from Ramos and passing the ball onto Griezmann, with whom the attack dies as he overcomplicates his return ball.


The half-time whistle blows, maybe at the wrong time for France who finished that period very strongly and were threatening to put this match beyond Peru. The South Americans made it very difficult for Les Bleus early on but have soon tired and badly need this break to try to regroup.

Again, this has not been a complete performance from France but another goal early in the second half and it will be enough to get the job done. A reminder that victory today will take Deschamps' men onto six points, with Denmark second on four, Australia on three and Peru pointless, and eliminated.

It may be Mbappe's name on the scoresheet, and in the record books, but Olivier Giroud was France's standout performer in that opening 45 minutes. The Chelsea striker makes everybody around him a better player and is a crucial cog in France's attacking link-up. He must start every game.

Giroud's Stamford Bridge teammate N'Golo Kante has also been excellent, as usual. The tireless midfielder has made more tackles, interceptions and clearances than any other player on the pitch so far. He should be the perfect foil for Pogba but the United man isn't holding up his end quite yet.

STATS: Check out the half-time numbers in Sports Mole's new in-game stats centre. You may be surprised to see which team had more possession in that first period...

BENCH WATCH: Peru's World Cup future rests on this next 45 minutes so I'll be shocked if we don't see Jefferson Farfan at some stage. They can't afford to go chasing this game too soon though, otherwise they will get picked off, so it might be that we don't see him for another 20 minutes or so.

KICKOFF: Ignore me, because Farfan is on, and so is Anderson Santamaria as Peru boss Gareca wastes no time in making a double change for the start of the second half. France are unchanged and will be hoping to pick up exactly where they left off - right on the front foot.

Concern for Deschamps and France as Umitit stays down following a rough tackle from Farfan. The medics are on, and it doesn't look great for the Barcelona centre-back. Deschamps doesn't have anywhere near as much depth in defence as attack, so Umtiti is going to try to run it off.

WOODWORK! Peru nearly pull something spectacular out of the bag to level early in the second half, with Pedro Aquino thrashing a powerful 30-yard shot which cannons back off the crossbar. Lloris was beaten - so quickly did it come off Acquino's boot that he barely moved.

That is a warning sign for France that they cannot afford to get complacement. Les Bleus have a few showboaters among them - Pogba and Griezmann spring to mind - but Peru will take some finishing off first. They are playing for their World Cup lives and have the crowd fully behind them.

Gallese comes off his line to claim a Griezmann free kick but his attempt to start a Peruvian counter is wayward as he kicks the ball straight out of play. France had committed plenty of bodies forward for the set piece, too.

This is a completely different France team to the one that finished the first half. They have reverted to being sluggish and flashy, which could be their immaturity and inexperience showing.

Carrilo bursts past Hernandez and delivers a decent cross just in front of the penalty spot, but just in front of Guerrero as well, who was being checked all the way by Varane in fairness.

SHOT! That Watford flop Carillo is involved again, this time taking up a central position and shooting a few yards over the crossbar after Farfan's neat flick had found him unmarked.

It has not quite been the fairytale World Cup debut that Peru hero Guerrero would have wanted. He missed a glorious chance in the first half and here his control lets him down after Farfan dinked a ball over the top.

Kylian Mbappe was not even alive when France won the World Cup 20 years ago! Makes me feel old...

Peru have enjoyed a good 10 minutes or so here. They are still bossing possession by 55%-45% but they have been unable to cut through France, and have been limited to shots from range.

SHOT! Right on cue, Advincula takes a swing with his left foot which wasn't far away, but equally was never troubling Lloris. The full-back had options to cross to in the box too.

France could not argue if Peru were to snatch a point from this match. Aside from a 15-minute period at the end of the second half, they have outpassed and outworked Les Bleus - they have just been missing a final ball, as is the case with many of the smaller nations at this tournament.

Hernandez is a bit fortunate not to see yellow after leaving his foot in a couple of times on Advincula. It wasn't much, but it was needless and a sign that France are starting to get frustrated.

SUBSTITUTION: Deschamps makes his first move from the bench, replacing goalscorer Mbappe with Ousmane Dembele. Mbappe shakes every France player's hand on his way off - a time-wasting exercise which hardly screams confidence or superiority from Les Bleus.

France have well and truly been pushed back here. Giroud is midway into his own half as Peru come forward again, with their full-backs getting on the overlap at every opportunity. That does make them vulnerable to the French counter-attack, but it is all or nothing now.

The attendance at the inside the Ekaterinburg Arena tonight is 32,789. I don't think it is exaggerating to say over half are Peru supporters. Can their team rescue a deserved late point here?

SUBSTITUTION: On comes Nabil Fekir, who may or may not still be Liverpool bound this summer. Griezmann is the man to make way - not the Atletico Madrid forward's finest afternoon.

YELLOW! Aquino is booked for Peru, but only after VAR corrects a case of mistaken identity, with the yellow card having initially been shown to a bemused Flores.

SHOT! Demeble drags a snap-shot on his left foot wide from just inside the area.

SUBSTITUTION: Peru's last-chance saloon is diminuative forward Raul Ruidiaz as game-one villain Cueva makes way.

YELLOW! Pogba is penalised for a foul on Farfan and Peru have a free kick in the centre of goal, 30 yards out.

SHOT! The set piece from Guerrero is on target but is easy pickings for Lloris, who has had a rather comfortable 100th cap despite Peru matching his France side in most aspects of play.

SUBSTITUTION: Deschamps winds down the clock with his third and final change - Steven N'Zonzi on for Pogba, who has done lots of good things today but also some not so good.

Halfway through the two mintues of added time and the ball is exactly where France will want it to be - in the Peru half and at the fetet of Olivier Giroud who is perfectly adept at holding Peru off.

Santos launches a free kick long but the second ball drops to nobody and Lloris ushers it behind safely for a goal kick.


France go through while Peru go home, which is not a fair reflection of how these two sides have played so far during this tournament. The South Americans have been extremely unlucky not to pick up at least a point which would have taken their campaign to game three. Les Bleus have barely got going yet and still their last-16 place is guaranteed, with a playoff against Denmark next week to top Group C.

That's it from me in Yekaterinburg. You can read our match report on France's narrow victory here, and continue to get your dose of World Cup fever by flicking over to Argentina vs. Croatia with my colleague Christopher Dodd here - big Group D points on the line there! Thanks for joining me today.

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Paul Pogba scores the winner during the World Cup group game between France and Australia on June 16, 2018
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