2018 FIFA World Cup: Day Eight Round-up

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Croatia - Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia - June 21, 2018 Argentina's Lionel Messi looks dejected REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Day Eight at 2018 FIFA World Cup saw plenty of drama as two sides booked their place in last 16, whilst one title favourite is on brink of an early exit. 

France Qualify but Denmark and Australia go to Wire

World Cup - Group C - France vs Peru
Kylian Mbappe scored the goal to send France through to the knockout stages. (Reuters)

Group C dominated the daytime action as France booked their place in the last 16, whilst Denmark and Australia await their fates. 

France eliminated Peru 1-0 with a 34th minute winner from winger, Kylian Mbappe who becomes the youngster ever French winger to score at a World Cup. 

Peru in fact had the better chances of first half, going close in sixth minute when Yoshimar Yotun unleashed a long range from the half-way after seeing Hugo Lloris off his line. His effort however went over the bar. 

They then had further chances in 23rd and 31st minutes with Edison Flores then captain, Paolo Guerrero. 

France eventually took their chance when Oliver Giroud got on end of a Peru error and flicked ball to Mbappe who tapped home from close range. 

Second half belonged to Peru but they failed to really threaten except for a 74th minute effort from Andre Carrillo, crossing to Jefferson Farfan who could only find side netting. 

In end, France clung on and are now through to the knockout stages. 

Denmark meanwhile drew 1-1 with Australia after the Aussies benefitted from VAR to earn a crucial point. 

Christian Eriksen put the Danes ahead in seventh minute from a Nicolai Jorgensen lay-off when he fired home. 

Both teams then had chances before Yussuf Poulsen handballed from a Matthew Leckie header as both contested for the ball. 

Referee, Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz then consulted VAR before rewarding a penalty and up stepped Mile Jedinak, who fired home his second penalty of the tournament to level things up again. 

Both teams then had chances throughout second half with Australia going closest in 81st minute, when Daniel Arzani got down the right and delivered a cross, only for nobody to connect with his effort. 

That result means that Denmark will progress with just a draw against France whilst Australia must beat Peru and hope that France take victory over the Danish if they are to qualify as Group C runners-up.

 

Argentina on Brink

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2014 runners-up and one of title favourites, Argentina are on verge of a shock exit after Croatia claimed a stunning 3-0 victory. 

A scrappy first half saw both teams miss chances before Croatia had the best chance of the period just before half time. 

Ante Rebic got on end of Ivan Perisic’s through ball pass before fumbling his first attempt on goal, before blasting over the bar. 

Second half however was a different story with the first major moment coming eight minutes in. 

Willy Caballero failed to clear a back pass with a chip, allowing Rebic to volley the falling ball right into the top right-hand corner to put Croatia ahead.

Things then got even worse in 80th minute when Marcelo Brozovic played a pass to Luka Modric on edge of box, and the Real Madrid man curled it into the net. 

Argentina then lost their discipline when Javier Mascherano made a challenge but Nicolas Otamendi let his temper get the better of him, earning himself a yellow card.  

Argentina’s nightmare was then completed when Ivan Rakitic slotted home from a Mateo Kovacic pass, having initially found Caballero with his first shot before it rebounded back out. 

The result means that a win for Iceland tomorrow over Nigeria will virtually seal Argentina’s fate, unless they were to overturn a huge deflict against the African side next week and Croatia saw off Iceland by a similar margin. 

Croatia meanwhile are through to the next round and if avoid defeat to Iceland, will go into the round of 16 as Group D winners. 

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