Final Score: France 1 - Peru 0
Peru is out of the World Cup, and it just feels awful. They were one of the more entertaining, exciting sides, and it ends for them abruptly.
77’ — One of my favorite things to do is keep an eye out for N’Golo Kante. I don’t closely track him, but rather just sort of wait around to keep an eye on him, and then crack myself up when he shows up like 75 yards away from where I saw him 8 seconds earlier. He’s like Nightcrawler.
64’ — Peru has been good, but still struggling with that plagued them in the opener ... they just can’t figure out a way to link those final passes and get into the box. They’re again too often settling for long shots, all of which are sailing over the bar.
48’ — Umtiti goes down with a thigh bruise after he takes a pretty nasty looking knee to the thigh on a 50-50 ball. Those suck.
46’ — Second half. Let’s do this.
Halftime — France 1 - Peru 0
Mbappe tapping home is the difference, but France were the better side for much of the second half. Peru came out flying, but once the French handled the initial wave, their quality was too much for the Peruvians. This attacking line, when they get going, is just about unstoppable.
34’ — GOAL FRANCE, AND IT’S MBAPPE
Peru gets a little too clever for their own good trying to play out of the back. The ball is intercepted by Pogba, who plays in Giroud, and after it’s deflected up the ball falls to the 19-year-old (!) Mbappe, who finishes easily.
What do you do when you become the youngest French goalscorer in FIFA World Cup history?— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 21, 2018
Shrug on em. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/ZOb054WNxf
23’ — Umtiti just fouled Paolo Guerrero, then grabbed his face when Guerrero reached back and fell to the ground, and somehow it ended up with Guerrero receiving a yellow card. I’m not sure if it was for talking after or for getting Umtiti, but that’s a bizarre ruling.
15’ — France nearly scores when Varane gets his head on a corner, but pushes wide. Les Bleus are finding their footing now, as Pogba, Kante and Mbappe are starting to make their presence felt. Still not entirely sure what Matuidi, a defensive midfielder, is supposed to be doing on the left wing. The entire France side is going down the right at the moment.
7’ — France where you at?
Might as well be in Lima, to be honest. Peruvians everywhere. That will be the title of the official FIFA film of this tournament. pic.twitter.com/bjw3tnVu7W— Rory Smith (@RorySmith) June 21, 2018
3’ — Peru instantly comes out on the front foot, playing extremely high pressure and trying to attack France’s outside backs. The game plan is clear. Can they pull it off?
1’ — And we’re off.
10:55 a.m. ET — Look at all the Peru fans sing!
10:45 a.m. ET — France coach Didier Deschamps faced criticism following the team’s opening game that he wasn’t being ambitious enough with his lineup, so he responded by ... putting in Blaise Matuidi at left midfield. Sure!
Seriously though, when you have the talent that France does, why play so conservatively? N’Golo Kante is so good he can mop up any messes, and Deschamps has Ousmane Dembele and Nabil Fekir available to inject some attacking ideas into the team. Why not let ‘er fly?
France vs. Peru Time, TV channel, and streaming info
Time: 11 a.m. ET
Location: Ekaterinburg Arena, Ekaterinburg, Russia
TV: FOX (English), Telemundo (Spanish)
France and Peru Lineups
Follow along or check back here for the live blog of key moments and score updates as France takes on Peru.
While France is leading Group C in points, it will need to have a solid performance against Peru to hold its spot. They will continue to lean on striker Antoine Griezmann, but also the entire talent of the team.
N’Golo Kante is the genius who lets France thrive
France has all sorts of big name talent, from striker Antoine Griezmann to young star Kylian Mbappe to midfield dynamo Paul Pogba, but their most important player is central midfielder N’Golo Kante, whose positional brilliance and ability to run a solid marathon every game (only slightly exaggerating) allows France to do all sorts of amazing things. Kante is so smart and covers so much ground on defense that France can afford to send players forward from everywhere on the field — he’s soccer’s greatest security blanket.
Paolo Guerrero looks to start (finally) for Peru
Peru looked fantastic for much of the opening of their opening game against Denmark, at least until they reached the final third, where they seemed a bit devoid of ideas. That was until they brought on striker Paolo Guerrero in the final minutes of the match, when they instantly looked so much more dangerous. Guerrero provides the team an anchor up top, a target man, someone whose strength and movement off ball immediately opens up space for the rest of this very fun Peru team.
France vs. Peru news to read before kickoff
No one will have been convinced by France’s performance against Australia on Saturday. Les Bleus were slow and created very few chances, while letting the Aussies look dangerous. But thanks to a favorable VAR review and one piece of brilliance from Paul Pogba, France sits on top of World Cup Group C with three points.
Peru’s Christian Cueva earned his team a penalty kick in the closing minutes of the first half against Denmark in their Group C match on Saturday, a penalty that was at first not called. Referee Bakary Gassama waited a few moments after what appeared to be a clear foul, then went to video replay review, and awarded Peru the penalty. Then Cueva stepped up, did a few stutter steps, and kicked the ball into the parking lot.