Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 in the second leg of the playoffs to book a place in Russia.
Peru World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
Peru vs France (21st June) Match Report
Peru Starting XI: 1 Pedro Gallese, 2 Alberto Rodriguez (4 Anderson Santamaria 46), 6 Miguel Trauco, 8 Christian Cueva (11 Raul Ruidiaz 82), 9 Paolo Guerrero, 15 Christian Ramos, 17 Luis Advincula, 18 Andre Carrillo, 19 Yoshimar Yotun (10 Jefferson Farfan 46) , 20 Edison Flores, 23 Pedro Aquino
France Starting XI: 1 Hugo Lloris, 2 Benjamin Pavard, 4 Raphael Varane, 5 Samuel Umtiti, 6 Paul Pogba (15 Steven Nzonzi 89), 7 Antoine Griezmann (18 Nabil Fekir 80), 9 Olivier Giroud, 10 Kylian Mbappe (11 Ousmane Dembele 75). 13 N’Golo Kante, 14 Blaise Matuidi, 21 Lucas Hernandez
France 1 Peru 0
France: Mbappe 36
France did just enough to knock Peru out of the tournament and reach the knockout stage themselves. They were far from convincing for much of the game while Peru, backed by noisy fans who packed the stadium in Yekaterinburg, deserved more for their positive approach.
Peru’s best chance of the first half fell to the unmarked Paolo Guerrero, who had started in place of Jefferson Farfan, but he shot straight at Hugo Lloris. Within a minute, Kylian Mpabbe had scored his World Cup goal, latching on to an effort from Olivier Giroud, who been brought in by France coach Didier Dechamps to bring a more of focal point to the French attack, with the ineffective Antoine Griezmann dropping deeper.
Farfan’s introduction at half-time added to Peru’s attacking options and for much of the remainder of the game they pushed a subdued France back into their own half. But the South Americns lacked a cutting edge to keep themselves in the tournament.
Matter of fact
Kylian Mbappe, aged 19 years and six months, became France’s youngest tournament scorer after recording his first World Cup goal.
VAR was used to correct a case of mistaken identity when Peru’s Edison Flores was initially shown a yellow card before referee Mohammed Mohammed changed his decision and booked Pedro Aquino instead.
Possession (%): 44/56
Goal attempts: 12/10
Attempts on target: 6/6
Pass accuracy (%): 77/81
Distance covered (km): 103/102
Peru vs Denmark (June 16th)
The third game of the day sees Peru take on Denmark – Match Preview here.
Peru Starting XI: 1 Pedro Gallese, 2 Alberto Rodriguez, 6 Miguel Trauco, 8 Christian Cueva, 10 Jefferson Farfan (11 Raul Ruidiaz 85), 13 Renato Tapia (23 Pedro Aquino 87), 15 Christian Ramos, 17 Luis Advincula, 18 Andre Carrillo, 19 Yoshimar Yotun, 20 Edison Flores (9 Paolo Guerrero 63)
Denmark Starting XI: 1 Kasper Schmeichel, 4 Simon Kjaer, 6 Andeas Christensen (13 Matias Jorgensen 81), 7 William Kvist (19 Lasse Schone 35), 8 Thomas Delaney, 9 Nicolai Jorgensen, 10 Christian Eriksen, 14 Henrik Dalsgaard, 17 Jens Stryger Larsen, 20 Yussuf Poulsen, 23 Pione Sisto (11 Martin Braithwaite 67)
Peru 0 Denmark 1
Denmark: Poulsen 59
Peru impressed in their first game back in the World Cup for 36 years. But a penalty miss by Cristian Cueva on the eve of half-time allowed Denmark to grind out a result in the second half, thanks to a clever counter-attack led by Christian Eriksen. Denmark’s defence, well marshalled by keeper Kasper Schmeichel, resisted a late wave of Peruvian attacks as Jefferson Farfan, the lively Andre Carillo and substitute Paolo Guerrero all went close.
Matter of fact
Kasper Schmeichel kept a clean sheet in his first World Cup game, matching his father Peter, who only only manager one clean sheet in five World Cup appearances.
A reported 40,000 Peru fans travelled to Russia to support their team in their first World Cup appearance in 36 years. They considerably outnumbered Danish supporters in Saransk.
Possession (%): 52/48
Goal attempts: 18/10
Attempts on target: 7/5
Pass accuracy (%): 85/82
Distance covered (km): 104/110
Peru World Cup Guide
Seventy eight years after Peru last went 10 games unbeaten, they repeated the feat. And this time their prize was not a first Copa America crown but a spot in the 2018 World Cup after 36 years. Their route to a first finals since 1982 was as dramatic as it was unexpected. Halfway through the campaign they seemed doomed to yet another dismal failure, but a stroke of luck helped Ricardo Gareca’s side gain confidence and momentum, before making it through after two nervy play-off games against New Zealand.
Key Moments in Qualifying
A 2-0 loss away to Bolivia is later awarded as a 3-0 victory to the visitors after Paraguayan-born sub Nelson Cabrera is later deemed ineligible. As a result, Peru win their first qualifier away from home in more than 12 years.
In the return at home to Bolivia, Peru go 2-0 up but then suffer a crisis of nerves. Bolivia get one back and then miss a sitter in the final minute.
A goal down to Colombia in their last game and on their way out, opposing keeper David Ospina tries to save Paolo Guerrero’s indirect free-kick and touches the ball as it flies into the net. Had it gone straight in it would not have counted.
Leading 1-0 at home to New Zealand but fearful of conceding a fateful away goal, Christian Ramos scoops the ball into the net to settle matters.
Peru World Cup Group
Peru World Cup Friendlies
Peru’s World Cup friendlies have gone incredibly well for them. They have beaten Croatia, Iceland, Scotland and Saudi Arabia. A final uninspiring draw against Sweden was their final warm-up game.
- 24th March – Croatia (won 2-0)
- 28th March – Iceland (won 3-1)
- 29th May – Scotland (won 2-0)
- 3rd June – Saudi Arabia (won 3-0)
- 9th June – Sweden (drew 0-0)
Peru World Cup Fixtures
Related: Antoine Griezmann November 2011
Ricardo Gareca, age 59 (10.02.58)
The Argentinian took over in 2015 and his greatest virtue has been to bring calm to an environment prone to despair. He has identified a young group of players with potential and stuck by them until poor results turned to good ones.
The big success story of the campaign was Edison Flores, a versatile midfielder who was the side’s joint-top scorer with five goals. Pedro Gallese was impressive when called upon and signals the end of the days when Peru needs to nationalise Argentinian goalkeepers.
Veteran striker Jefferson Farfan was discarded after the fifth round, but came back for the final few rounds, and stepped up well to cover the absence of Paolo Guerrero in the play-offs.
Captain and centre-forward Guerrero is the country’s all-time record scorer but sat out the play-offs after failing a drug test.
Holding midfielder Renato Tapia made his senior bow in Gareca’s first game in charge and grew in stature during the campaign.
Peru World Cup Squad
Final 23-man squad –
GOALKEEPERS: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Deportivo Municipal), Jose Carvallo (UTC).
DEFENDERS: Aldo Corzo (Universitario), Luis Advincula (Lobos Buap), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Alberto Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Anderson Santamaria (Puebla), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo), Nilson Loyola (Melgar).
MIDFIELDERS: Renato Tapia (Feyenoord), Pedro Aquino (Lobos Buap), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City), Paolo Hurtado (Vitoria Guimaraes), Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo), Edison Flores (Aalborg), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz).
Peru World Cup Injuries
We will update you with all injuries here.
The Unanswered Questions
Will there be a recall for 39-year-old Claudio Pizarro?
With the uncertainty over Paolo Guerrero following his drugs ban, and with no other proven target man to play up front, Peru were tempted to recall their former captain, who was on standby for the play-off second leg against New Zealand. However, it appears as if Pizarro will not play in the World Cup again after being omitted from the final squad.
Will the squad’s lack of World Cup experience tell in Russia?
None of the current squad were born the last time Peru played at a finals. In the past, several Latin American teams with limited experience in this situation have been overawed, starting slowly and then waiting until it was too late to show their best football.
Can they defend in the air?
Physically imposing centre-forwards are likely to cause problems, with big New Zealand striker Chris Wood causing panic in the Peruvian defence in the play-offs.
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