Australia and Denmark still hopeful of qualification from Group C
Written by: FIFA World Cup 2018
A draw or a win for the DANES will see them fight in the Round of 16 match.
The pressure is off France in their final Group C fixture, having already reached the Round of 16, and Denmark very much have the advantage in their quest to join Les Bleus in the knockout stages. The Danes need to avoid defeat to progress to the next phase, and they could even qualify with a loss if Australia do not emerge victorious from their game against already-eliminated Peru and improve their goal difference by a significant enough margin to leapfrog them.
In his playing days, Didier Deschamps sat out the final group game of France 1998 against Denmark, and will likely be hoping for a similar outcome to this match, where a much-changed France XI emerged with a 2-1 win and topped the group with a 100 per cent record. Ultimately, Age Hareide will want the same outcome - if not necessarily the same result - as Denmark qualified for the knockout stages in 1998 despite their defeat.
Team Reporter Analysis
Svend Frandsen (Denmark)
With Yussuf Poulsen suspended and Pione Sisto having an indifferent World Cup so far, coach Age Hareide will be forced to reshuffle his attacking lineup as the Danes head into their last crucial Group C match against France. One point will be enough to progress to the next stage but Hareide will also be keen to see Denmark improve their possession-based football in the final third of the pitch.
Adrien Gringold (France)
Even if the mood has totally changed in the French camp since Les Bleus qualified for the next round by beating Peru, coach Didier Deschamps was very clear: he wants to finish top of the group, no matter who they'll play against. In Istra, France are now focused on watching videos and closely studying the Danish team. One question still remains though: just how many changes will Deschamps make?
Did You Know?
Five teenagers have scored multiple World Cup goals: Pele (6), Edmund Conen (4), Manuel Rosas (2), Jose Altafini (2) and Michael Owen (2). Can Kylian Mbappe - who became the first teenager to score for France at a World Cup with his strike against Peru - join this rarefied list, by netting against the Danes?
Denmark: Kasper Schmeichel; Henrik Dalsgaard, Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen, Jens Stryger Larsen; Lasse Schone, Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen; Andreas Cornelius, Martin Braithwaite, Nicolai Jorgensen
Australia will have hope in their hearts, while Peru will play for pride when they meet in their final match in Group C.
The South Americans headed to Russia with high expectations after making their first FIFA World Cup™ in 36 years, but are already out of the competition having lost both their matches to date.
Los Incas can nevertheless go home with their heads held high after causing Denmark and France serious problems in narrow 1-0 defeats. They will now be hoping to give their fans – who have turned up in large numbers and brought great joy to Russia 2018 – some goals to cheer.
Facing them are an Australia side determined to stop them doing just that and who showed plenty of attributes of their own in going down 2-1 to the French and drawing 1-1 with the Danes. That point has given the Socceroos hope of advancing to the Round of 16, a goal they can achieve if they beat the Peruvians, by as handsome a margin as possible, and the already-qualified French beat Denmark.
Should the Aussies finish level on points with Denmark, qualification will come down to goal difference first of all, then goals scored, and then fair play.
Team Reporter Analysis
Sarah Widera (Australia)
The Socceroos have everything to play for in a match they must win, while hoping the result of the other game in the section also goes their way. Tightly knit and full of confidence, the Australians will be praying the stars align. Their biggest selection issue is deciding who comes in for injured striker Andrew Nabbout.
Gilda Arrua (Peru)
Peru go into their final match with the aim of dedicating a win to their army of fans, among the most loyal at Russia 2018. Ricardo Gareca’s men would have had some points to their name but for some wayward finishing in their first two games. Their task is to show they can they not only keep possession of the ball, but also win.
Did You Know?
This is the third time in five World Cup appearances that Peru have been knocked out in the group phase, and the second occasion on which they lost their opening two matches. The first came at the inaugural edition in 1930, when they lost 3-1 to Romania and 1-0 to hosts Uruguay, their only matches in that competition.
Australia: Mathew Ryan, Aziz Behich, Mark Milligan, Trent Sainsbury, Josh Risdon, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Tomi Juric, Mathew Leckie
Peru.: Pedro Gallese; Luis Advincula, Christian Ramos, Anderson Santamaria, Miguel Trauco; Renato Tapia, Yoshimar Yotun; Andre Carrillo, Christian Cueva, Edison Flores; Paolo Guerrero.
Published: Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:56 PM IST